AFRICA: Air Chiefs Meet in Ethiopia

May 11, 2011 at 6:03 pm Leave a comment

U.S. Seeks Air Partners

Ethiopia (CIA Wolrd Factbook)

Senior leaders from more than 20 African air forces met recently with U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz and other top U.S. officials to discuss avenues of cooperation at a gathering in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

Schwartz was the keynote speaker at the three-day African Air Chiefs Conference that was sponsored by Air Forces Africa (AFAFRICA, also known as the U.S. 17th Air Force) and the Africa Center for Strategic Studies.

Schwartz said the U.S. Air Force was committed to non-kinetic, non-combat employment of military airpower as well as its more traditional role.

“Just as effectively in providing military applications, airpower can deliver elements of international, non-governmental support, such as life-sustaining supplies by the International Red Cross or life-saving medical treatment by Doctors without Borders, to distressed, often isolated areas,” the Air Force leader told military, government and non-governmental organization leaders at the gathering.

“Like every region of the world, Africa faces security challenges that are both unique to the continent … and shared globally,” said Air Force Major Gen. Margaret Woodward, AFAFRICA’s commander, telling the Africa officials present: “We believe that our only chance at truly confronting these challenges successfully is in partnership with you.”

AFAFRICA, a unit of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), is based in Ramstein Air Base, Germany and provides AFRICOM’s air and space component, but does not maintain a permanent fleet of combat and transport aircraft. Rather it coordinates the use of air assets in Africa from other commands. it also has a collaborative relationship with the 110th Air Operations Group, Michigan Air National Guard.

AFAFRICA does maintain one forward operating base in Africa at Camp Lemonier, a former French Foreign Legion base in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. Combat search and rescue for the Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa is controlled out of Camp Lemonier.

U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Stefanie Torres

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Entry filed under: Africa, International Relief, National Security and Defense, Skills and Training, Weaponry and Equipment. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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