435th AEW NEWS ARTICLES

U.S. military, FAN personnel challenge local Agadez soccer team to exhibition match

Photo of U.S. military and local team playing soccer.

A member of a local soccer team drives the ball down the field during an exhibition match with U.S. military personnel and Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces) members from Nigerien Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Photo of U.S. military and local team playing soccer.

U.S. military personnel and Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces) members from Nigerien Air Base 201 shake hands with the opposing local soccer team before their exhibition match in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Photo of U.S. military and local team playing soccer.

U.S. Army Sgt. Lonny Quarford, 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219 civil affairs NCO, misses a penalty shot during an exhibition match between Nigerien Air Base personnel and a local soccer team in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by CAT 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Photo of U.S. military and local team playing soccer.

An Agadez youth soccer team watches as U.S. military personnel and Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces) members from Nigerien Air Base 201 team up to face a local soccer club during an exhibition match in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Photo of U.S. military and local team playing soccer.

A member of a local soccer team prepares to head-butt the ball during an exhibition match with U.S. military personnel and Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces) members from Nigerien Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Photo of U.S. military and local team playing soccer.

A member of a local soccer team congratulates a Nigerien Air Base 201 player after an exhibition match in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Consisting of players from both the U.S. military and the Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces), the Nigerien Air Base 201 team was victorious with a final score of 4-3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Photo of U.S. military and local team playing soccer.

A Nigerien Air Base 201 player drives the ball down the field during an exhibition match with a local soccer team in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Consisting of players from both the U.S. military and the Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces), the Nigerien Air Base 201 team was victorious with a final score of 4-3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Photo of U.S. military and local team playing soccer.

U.S. Army Sgt. Lonny Quarford, 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219 civil affairs NCO, and a Agadez local take a photo after an exhibition match between Nigerien Air Base personnel and a local soccer team in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by CAT 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Photo of U.S. military and local team playing soccer.

Spectators and players pose for a group photo after an exhibition match in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Consisting of players from both the U.S. military and the Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces), the Nigerien Air Base 201 team was victorious with a final score of 4-3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Photo of U.S. military and local team playing soccer.
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A member of a local soccer team drives the ball down the field during an exhibition match with U.S. military personnel and Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces) members from Nigerien Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

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Abass Ali, Association de Anciens Joueurs d’Agadez president, speaks to the players after an exhibition match between Nigerien Air Base 201 personnel and a local soccer team in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

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Spectators watch as U.S. military personnel and Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces) members from Nigerien Air Base 201 team up to face a local soccer club during an exhibition match in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

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A Nigerien Air Base 201 player and a member of a local soccer team shake hands after an exhibition match in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Consisting of players from both the U.S. military and the Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces), the Nigerien Air Base 201 team was victorious with a final score of 4-3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

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A member of a local soccer team drives the ball down the field during an exhibition match with U.S. military personnel and Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces) members from Nigerien Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

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A member of a local soccer team guards the ball during an exhibition match with U.S. military personnel and Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces) members from Nigerien Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

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Spectators celebrate the final goal for the Nigerien Air Base 201 team during an exhibition match with a local soccer club in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Consisting of players from both the U.S. military and the Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces), the Nigerien Air Base 201 team was victorious with a final score of 4-3. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

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A member of a local soccer team drives the ball down the field during an exhibition match with U.S. military personnel and Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces) members from Nigerien Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

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U.S. Army Sgt. Lonny Quarford, 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219 civil affairs NCO, performs a goal kick during an exhibition match between Nigerien Air Base personnel and a local soccer team in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020. Facilitated by CAT 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

AGADEZ, Niger --

Soccer, the world’s most popular sport, transcends boundaries bringing together people of different ages, abilities, backgrounds, beliefs and nationalities to boot a ball into a net.

Deployed U.S. military personnel and Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Niger Armed Forces) members from Nigerien Air Base 201 teamed up to face a local soccer club during an exhibition match in Agadez, Niger, Feb. 8, 2020.

Facilitated by the U.S. Army 443rd Civil Affairs Battalion Civil Affairs Team 219, more than 60 Airmen and Soldiers from the base connected with scores of local civilians at the Agadez soccer stadium.    

“Today was good,” said Abass Ali, Association de Anciens Joueurs d’Agadez president. “We played soccer for the base and the Nigerien people to have a relationship, a partnership and to better get to know each other.”

After the game and celebrations concluded, the Civil Affairs Team donated 15 soccer balls and 30 jerseys to the youth soccer program. 

“We’re guests here in Niger, but the civilian population rarely gets to meet the personnel that come to Nigerien Air Base 201,” said U.S. Army Sgt Christopher Hartmann, CAT 219 Civil Affairs NCO.  “This was a great face-to-face opportunity, and friendly competition in sports that helps build camaraderie.”

During last year’s game, the Agadez locals were victorious, but this year, the U.S./FAN team brought home the win with a score of 4-3.

“The FAN has some really great players,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Adam Schuck, 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron services representative. “We were all able to work together, we communicated, and we came out with a victory. It was a very enjoyable time with everyone.”

The tradition will continue; CAT 219 is already planning the next game for this friendly rivalry.