U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa
/ Published January 22, 2009
KIGALI, Rwanda -- W. Stuart Symington IV, U.S. Ambassador to Rwanda, bumps elbows with Air Force Maj. Sang Kim, 722nd Expeditionary Airbase Squadron commander, after loading the last of the Rwandan peacekeeping heavy equipment to be airlifted to Darfur Jan. 16. The operation provided logistical assistance to the United Nations-African Union peacekeepers in the Darfur region of Sudan. This was the first major air operation for Seventeenth Air Force as the air component for U.S. Africa Command.
Seventeenth, also known as U.S. Air Forces Africa, declared initial operational capability Oct. 1, 2008. The recently-activated numbered air force planned and coordinated aircraft, troops and resources for the operation.
Airmen, via two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, moved more than 136 tons of oversized vehicles and special equipment from Kigali to Darfur. Ambassador Symington is the grandson of W. Stuart Symington II, the first Secretary of the Air Force. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Samuel Bendet, U.S. Africa Command)