Commander Kenya Air Force Major General John Omenda together with Chief of Staff, United States Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) Major General James Kriesel, on 6th June 2022, officially opened the African Partnership Flight (APF) training program at the Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki.
APF is a program specifically designed to build strong transparent partnerships that enhance regional stability and security through formal alliances, partnerships and exchange of information.
Speaking during the event, Major General Omenda said that it was an honor for Kenya Air Force to co-host the event with the American partners.
“Besides looking at Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response, this forum is meant to provide a platform for sharing challenges faced by African Air Forces with a view of identifying suitable mitigation measures in order to improve on our air power capabilities and increase interoperability,” said the Commander Kenya Air Force.
“With the ever growing need for air operations in peace and war time; we continue to be a credible, quick to deploy and ever ready force, to respond and cooperate with other civil authorities in situations of emergency or disaster when called upon,” he reiterated.
His words were echoed by Major General Kriesel who stressed on the importance of preparedness for disaster eventualities by partner states. He further urged them to identify their capability gaps and come up with ways to fix them.
After a comprehensive three days training, it will culminate to the actual exercise dubbed “Exercise Linda-Rhino 3,” which is a combined Joint Task Force exercise for HADR ready crew. This exercise will actualize proficiency in undertaking future joint missions in National and multi-national set up.
The five-day event whose theme is ‘Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response (HADR)’ will see participants discuss and come up with best practices in Disaster management.
The program has brought together participants from: Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
The participating teams are drawn from partner states Air Forces and Non-Governmental Organisations and they include: Aircrew, Logistics, Medical, Airfield Operations and Rapid Response Unit personnel. NGOs are represented by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA).