African Partnership Flight (APF) Mauritania, cohosted by the Mauritanian government and the U.S. Air Force, brought more than fifty African airmen from six African nations including, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal and Tunisia together at Atar Air Base in Atar, Mauritania this past week for a training program conducted by the U.S. Air Force. APF Mauritania is the premier program for building aviation capacity, enhancing regional cooperation, and increasing U.S. and African interoperability.
In a closing ceremony today, Mauritanian and American officials congratulated the course participants, who spent four days of intensive training at Atar Air Base. Their program included classroom discussions and hands-on learning in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance mission planning, air operation fundamentals, and flight and ground safety. The course capstone event yesterday was a field exercise where participants had an opportunity to apply knowledge gained during classroom discussions.
An event like APF helps to increase African aviation capabilities and African partners’ abilities to provide mutual support in air operations. U.S. Air Force Major Hartmut Casson, APF Mauritania mission commander, noted during his visit: “It is our shared value of duty and service that binds us together and it is our hope that the lessons and friendships we have made here will endure for years to come.”
Colonel Mohammad Lehreitani, Mauritanian Air Force Chief of Staff, spoke at the closing ceremony, thanking the USA for its continued support and noting how the event strengthens Mauritania’s ability to combat terrorism. He added: “This special military event of supporting defense operations is establishing a new era of cooperation between our countries — renewing the highest values of peace, security and developmental ideals in the world at large and the Sahel region in particular.”
At the ceremony, Ms. Martha Patterson, Charge d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Mauritania, thanked the government of Mauritania and the U.S. Air Forces Africa and the Air Mobility Command for sponsoring this event, and congratulated the students from the six African countries on completing their training. The Charge said: “Mauritania is an important American ally who shares with us a common vision of a safe, stable and prosperous Africa. Mauritania’s partnering with us to sponsor such an event demonstrates Mauritania’s commitment to that vision.”
September 4, 2014.