17th AF discusses air operations with Botswana

by Tech. Sgt. Alec Lloyd
17th Air Force Public Affairs

What is the best way to organize an air operations center?
That is the question a delegation of officers from the Botswana Defense Force is seeking to answer with the help of 17th Air Force, also known as U.S. Air Forces Africa, and U.S. Air Forces Europe’s 603rd Air Operations Center.

Lt. Col. Patrick Seboko, Maj. Tshireletso Mophonkolo, Maj. Moemedi Sosong and Maj. Charles Johnson spent four days at Ramstein and Einsiedlerhof to learn about American AOC operational procedures, organization and equipment.

“The BDF is not necessarily looking at doing things as we do, but more that they are looking at how we accomplish certain tasks,” said Master Sgt. Paul Bergerson, of the 617th Air Operations Center. “They want to see if our procedures and staff functions can be incorporated into their daily operations.”

Currently, the BDF uses an AOC organization based on that of India. As contacts have increased between the United States and Botswana, the BDF is taking advantage of the opportunity to improve their system. They are also the first African nation to visit the air ground operations school at nearby Einsiedlerhof.

“I appreciate the organization, courtesy and care that has been shown to us,” Major Johnson said. “The briefings were well done. A thousand cheers to 17th Air Force from the Botswana team. We look forward to future interactions.”

Maj. Andrei Mitran, of the 617th Air Operations Center, was one of the presenters and said he was impressed by the attentiveness and keen understanding demonstrated by the Botswana delegation.

“It was a wonderful start to hopefully a long friendship,” he said. “These were great officers and we hope for more interactions.”