U.S. Air Forces in Europe & Air Forces Africa
Published June 29, 2020
Air Force Gen. Jeff Harrigian, U.S. Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa commander, conducted a second call with Maj. Gen. Emmanuel Bayingana, Rwandan air force chief of staff, to discuss operations in Africa throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the call, the leaders discussed pushing the annual African Air Chiefs’ Symposium to October of 2021 due to the effects of COVID-19 around the world.
“Strategic Airlift", the theme of the African Air Chiefs Symposium to be hosted in Rwanda in 2021, is critical to the effectiveness of Air Forces in Africa today more than ever before,” said Bayingana. “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to postpone the Symposium from 2020 to 2021, but it has also left us an enduring lesson that cooperation between countries and between continents is the correct way to go. I commend Jeff for the wisdom, flexibility and passion to ensure success of this symposium and the objectives and values it represents.”
Harrigian echoed the decision to move the AACS to 2021.
“AACS is a significant undertaking, and I support Emmanuel’s decision to postpone the symposium to ensure we have all of the capabilities in place for success,” said Harrigian. “Despite this shift, I’ve observed Emmanuel’s approach to handling the pandemic, and his efforts have been outstanding.”
Rwanda is part of the Association of African Air Forces, a premier African air power collaborative association focused on the exchange of experiences and examining opportunities to cooperate and collaborate in order to improve and support air operations across Africa. 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.
Harrigian’s call to the Rwandan leader is one of a series of calls to Air Chiefs throughout the African continent. For more information about the Association of African Air Forces, see the fact sheet at the following link: https://www.usafe.af.mil/Units/Association-of-African-Air-Forces/