African Partnership Flight builds partnerships


U.S. Air Force Airmen and airmen from seven African partner nations have concluded the African Partnership Flight (APF) exercise held at Ramstein Air Base between 6 and 10 August.

APF is a multinational security cooperation initiative facilitated by U.S. Air Forces Africa.
“This is the best way we have found to bring representatives together from various air forces on the continent to help build aviation capability and capacity, enhance regional cooperation and increase interoperability,” said Brigadier General Dieter Bareihs, director of plans and programs for U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa.

This APF was hosted by AFAFRICA and co-hosted by Senegal and Mauritania with approximately 34 air force delegates from Mali, Chad, Gabon, Malawi, Uganda, Mauritania and Senegal.
“We all have diverse backgrounds, come from different areas and have different upbringings,” said Bareihs, “but we are all Airmen and we all share common values and common concerns”

APF Ramstein focused on force development while strengthening partnerships with participating nations.
“I learned a lot this week,” said Lt. Yassive Mahamat Brahim, a helicopter technician from the Chad air force, who went on to say he now has a better understanding of how the U.S. Air Force train officers and enlisted in their different specialties.
“I was able to see it [training] with my own two eyes,” said Brahim. “I liked it.”

Throughout the event delegates had the opportunity to tour several units and learn about the various missions at Ramstein. They also discussed training and Airmen development.
“We needed to have the U.S. to come and put us together,” said Senior Master Sergeant Dethie Diouf, an air ground equipment technician and instructor in the Senegal air force.

APF, originally initiated by AFAFRICA, has been bringing neighboring countries from Africa together since the first APF hosted by Ghana in March 2012.

Bareihs ended APF Ramstein by emphasizing the importance of working together due to common security concerns and threats in Africa.
“We all need to work together to promote the vision of a safe, stable and prosperous African continent,” said Bareihs.