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10th African Partnership Flight kicks off in Burkina Faso

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Jonathan Snyder
  • USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs
U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Airmen helped kicked off African Partnership Flight in Burkina Faso this week, taking part in an opening ceremony and cultural tour with participating nations.

“We are really excited, this is our 10th African Partnership Flight we have conducted over the past five years,” said Col. Ric Trimillos, USAFE-AFAFRICA division chief of international affairs. “On this particular APF we are focusing on sustainment logistics of air mobility.”

APF was designed as a combined learning environment for both U.S. and African partner nations to build aviation capacity, enhance regional cooperation and increase interoperability. The events also serve to help build understanding and collaboration between nations through cultural appreciation.

"In cooperation with the United States Air Force and the Burkina Faso air force we have come together to organize this African Partnership Flight event," said Col. Palenfo Kounsaouma, chief of staff of Burkina Faso’s air force, also called Armée de l'Air Burkinabé. "We are here today with the goal of supporting and learning about humanitarian assistance and disaster relief efforts."

Over the course of one week, instructors comprised of U.S. Air Force Airmen will work with Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco in classroom discussions and workshops about maintenance and logistics support for light utility aircraft. Participants will examine the maintenance and logistics requirements necessary to forward deploy light utility aircraft in response to HADR efforts to include pre-departure preparation, execution and sustainment, and deployment conclusion.

"During the APF we are working with the planners, the individuals behind the scene making all the work happen for there to be success on any mission," Trimillos said. “By bringing all the partner nations together we are able to come to the best solutions, the most efficient solutions and, more importantly, an African solution.”

The intent of APF is to build strong transparent partnerships that enhance regional stability and security through formal alliances, partnerships or simple exchanges of information.

"Best practices shared at APF will help Burkina Faso air force improve interoperability with the other nations here," Kounsaouma said.