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Gen Harrigian conducts calls with African counterparts

Release Number: 010520

Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa commander, recently conducted two separate virtual meetings, one with Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bayingana, Rwandan air force chief of staff, and one with Maj. Gen. Francis O. Ogolla, Kenyan air force air chief, to discuss air operations in Africa and lessons learned as we continue to fight through the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the calls, the leaders also discussed the enduring relationships built at events such as the annual African Air Chiefs’ Symposium and African Partner Outbreak Response Alliance and how they provide us with the long-term strategic alliances needed to address future challenges.

“Events like AACS and APORA are incredibly important in strengthening our ties with our African partners, and we’re exploring options to ensure these types of opportunities to learn from one another aren’t lost,” said Harrigian. “COVID may change the way we work, but it certainly won’t stop the way we’re getting after the mission with our counterparts on the African continent.”

The need for enduring partnerships was echoed by the Kenyan air chief.

“As we mitigate the challenges posed by COVID-19 in our interactions, we must not forget that a win over COVID-19 will only count if it is shared across all nations,” said Ogolla. “It is therefore necessary that we continue to cooperate and share our experiences and learn from each other, particularly on issues related directly to the operations of our air forces.”

The leaders are all part of the Association of African Air Chiefs, a premier African Air Power collaborative association for safety, peace and security that was formed in 2015. Following the addition of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone, at last year’s symposium, the association now features 26 member nations.

For more information about the Association of African Air Chiefs, click here: (https://www.usafe.af.mil/Units/Association-of-African-Air-Forces/).