Virtual African Air Chiefs Symposium strengthens alliances

  • Published
  • By MAster Sgt. Darnell T. Cannady

The Association of African Air Forces held a two-day virtual African Air Chiefs Symposium with senior leaders from 38 nations and leaders from U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa, Mar. 29-30, 2021.

The 10th annual AACS focused on exchanging experiences and examining opportunities to cooperate and collaborate in order to improve and support air operations across Africa. Co–chaired by Brig. Gen. Mohamed Hajem Chief of Staff, Tunisia air force and Gen. Jeff Harrigian, USAFE-AFAFIRCA commander, this year’s theme was “Enduring Challenges & Emerging Opportunities” with discussions ranging from COVID-19 response successes, the Inter-European Air Forces Academy, exercise planning, and resource sharing.

“I believe that throughout the briefings and exchanges that we have been able to achieve most of the objectives set forth by this symposium,” said Hajem. “I was very impressed and satisfied by the professionalism by all those who contributed to this symposium. We have discussed subjects of relevance to most of our African Air Forces and partner nations to advance and concentrate on partnership and strong relations.”

The Virtual AACS brought together nations who share a commitment to security and collaborative African Air Power. For the third year, this symposium featured a senior enlisted agenda which provided a progress report and way forward for the organization.

“To all my teammates, and all the air chiefs that we are fortunate to work with, thank you for your time, thank you for your leadership, and we look forward to seeing you later this year as we come together to continue our partnership,” said Harrigian.

The next symposium will be hosted by Rwanda and will continue to strengthen alliances within the African region.

“I look forward to working with you, , as we prepare for the 11th symposium,” said Harragian. “I am absolutely 100% sure that it will be another great symposium and I know it will be an outstanding opportunity for us to hopefully get together again as friends to reaffirm our commitment to this outstanding organization.”

Countries that participated included:

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote D'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Guinee, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, The African Union, Togo, Tunisia, United States, and Zambia.