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African Partnership Flight kicks off in Rwanda

Participants in the African Partnership Flight Rwanda render proper customs and courtesies during the opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. Hosted by the Rwanda Defence Force and U.S. Air Forces Africa, APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Participants in the African Partnership Flight Rwanda render proper customs and courtesies during the opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. Hosted by the Rwanda Defence Force and U.S. Air Forces Africa, APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jason Farmer, Defence Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, gives remarks during the African Partnership Flight Rwanda opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. APF Rwanda participants include military representatives from Rwanda, the United States, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, and Zambia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jason Farmer, Defence Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Kigali, gives remarks during the African Partnership Flight Rwanda opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. APF Rwanda participants include military representatives from Rwanda, the United States, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, and Zambia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Col. Stephen Hughes, deputy director of U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Plans, Programs, and Analysis, gives remarks during the African Partnership Flight Rwanda opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. Hosted by the Rwanda Defence Force and AFAFRICA, APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. Participants in military representatives from Rwanda, the United States, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, and Zambia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

U.S. Air Force Col. Stephen Hughes, deputy director of U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Plans, Programs, and Analysis, gives remarks during the African Partnership Flight Rwanda opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. Hosted by the Rwanda Defence Force and AFAFRICA, APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. Participants in military representatives from Rwanda, the United States, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, and Zambia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Rwanda Air Force Air Chief, Maj. Gen. Charles Karamba gives remarks during the African Partnership Flight Rwanda opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. The APF program is intended to build strong, transparent partnerships that enhance regional stability and security. APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Rwanda Air Force Air Chief, Maj. Gen. Charles Karamba gives remarks during the African Partnership Flight Rwanda opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. The APF program is intended to build strong, transparent partnerships that enhance regional stability and security. APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Participants in the African Partnership Flight Rwanda pose for a group photo in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. Hosted by the Rwanda Defence Force and U.S. Air Forces Africa, APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. APF Rwanda participants include military representatives from Rwanda, the United States, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, and Zambia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Participants in the African Partnership Flight Rwanda pose for a group photo in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. Hosted by the Rwanda Defence Force and U.S. Air Forces Africa, APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. APF Rwanda participants include military representatives from Rwanda, the United States, Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, and Zambia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Members of the Rwanda Defence Force band play music at the African Partnership Flight Rwanda opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. The APF program is intended to build strong, transparent partnerships that enhance regional stability and security. APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Members of the Rwanda Defence Force band play music at the African Partnership Flight Rwanda opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. The APF program is intended to build strong, transparent partnerships that enhance regional stability and security. APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Rwanda Air Force Air Chief Maj. Gen. Charles Karamba, center, is joined on stage by representatives from U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa and the U.S. Embassy in Kigali during the African Partnership Flight Rwanda opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. The APF program is intended to build strong, transparent partnerships that enhance regional stability and security. APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Rwanda Air Force Air Chief Maj. Gen. Charles Karamba, center, is joined on stage by representatives from U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa and the U.S. Embassy in Kigali during the African Partnership Flight Rwanda opening ceremony in Kigali, Rwanda, March 4, 2019. The APF program is intended to build strong, transparent partnerships that enhance regional stability and security. APF Rwanda's focus is on sharing best practices for flight, ground, and weapon safety. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Timothy Moore)

KIGALI, Rwanda --

U.S. Air Forces Africa along with the Rwanda Defence Force kicked off African Partnership Flight Rwanda here during an opening ceremony. The weeklong event is the first of its kind in Rwanda and being hosted by the U.S. Air Force and the Rwanda Defence Force.

Approximately 45 air force delegates from Cameroon, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and Zambia are participating in this African Partnership Flight, which will focus on familiarizing participants on elements of flight, ground, and weapons safety.

“This is going to be a wonderful event. When we thought about the African Partnership Flight, the whole idea was for the United States Air Force to learn as much about our partners as much as our partners learn from us,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Stephen Hughes, deputy director, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa Plans, Programs and Analysis.

The African Partnership Flight program is AFAFRICA’s premier multi-lateral military-to-military engagement and security assistance program. Events like these are intended to strengthen U.S. strategic partnerships with African countries by sharing ideas on aviation related topics, which are intended to enhance regional cooperation and interoperability.

Over the course of the week, there will be a series of multi-disciplinary courses and workshops. These classroom style courses will specifically focus on aviation safety culture, industrial safety and personal protective equipment, safety program management, mishap response and safety investigations, bird and wildlife aircraft strike hazard programs, and operational risk management.

“This safety workshop is the first of its kind to take place in Rwanda,” said Maj. Gen. Charles Karamba, Air Chief, Rwandan air force. “It will equip Rwandan air force personnel and our African brother air forces present here with knowledge and skills to cope with more than air safety standards. By the end of this workshop, I have no doubt that will we will have gained the necessary skills to operate these delicate and expensive machines.”

African Partnership Flight Rwanda will conclude with a field familiarization exercise at the Rwandan Military Academy. This hands-on event will give participants an opportunity to take what they learned over the course of the week and put it into practice in a simulated scenario.

Hughes ended by adding, “Coming together is the beginning, staying together is progress, but working together is success. I have no doubt that is what will happen this week.”