Into Africa: combined effort ensures success

Capt. Heather Healy
16th Air Force

The Ghanaian Air Force’s creed is “Bebrebe ahooden ne koroye,” which means “combined effort ensures success.”

Maj. Gen. Phil Breedlove, 16th Air Force vice commander, learned how
seriously the Ghanaians take their creed on the first stop of his
Africa engagement tour.

In Ghana, he met with the Ghanaian Air Force Chief of Staff, Air Vice
Marshall Julius Boateng, the Accra Air Base commander, Air Commodore
Rex Krakue, and even received a tour of their exercise reception

“The Ghanaians are tremendous allies for the United States and its
military,” said Major General Breedlove. “We heard this sentiment
echoed in all our meetings with the U.S. Embassy personnel, and it was
very evident by the great treatment we received while there.”

Ghana is a popular stop on engagement trips because of the strong
relationship.  According to U.S. Embassy personnel in country,
Ghana is considered the “honest broker” in the region and has great
potential for  increased military cooperation and economic

“This relationship will only get stronger,” said Major General
Breedlove. “We’ll be hosting MedFlag 2006 here in Ghana, and it’s going
to be the biggest and best exercise seen to date.”

The engagement trip took Major General Breedlove and his team to six African countries in six days.

“It’s been a while since anyone from United States Air Forces in Europe
has visited these countries, and it’s critical to our relationships
with these air forces that we take the time to put a face with the
name,” said Major General Breedlove.

Engagement trips to Africa help fulfill European Command’s objectives of bolstering relations with ally nations in Africa.

“The unique aspect of this trip is that we’re taking Major General
Breedlove on an extremely large scale visit over a very short period of
time,” said Maj. Jim Rice, 16th Air Force Africa Foreign Area Officer.

“At each venue he met senior military and civilian personal that will
support humanitarian relief and peacekeeping operations throughout our

According to Major Rice, it’s quite possible that these personal
relationships will make the difference on whether or not the USAF can
operate out of  these locations should forces need to deploy
sometime in the future.
The second engagement stop was Angola, followed by South Africa, Zambia, Uganda and Ethiopia.

“We feel very fortunate to have been received by the senior Air Force
leaders in these countries,” said Major General Breedlove.

“Africa needs strong African leaders, and from what I can tell, there
are individuals within these countries that are ready to take their Air
Forces to the next level. That’s a good thing for their militaries and
the communities at large.”

The leaders Major General Breedlove met didn’t hesitate to show their appreciation.

“We get a lot of support from the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. in
general,” said Air Commodore Krakue. “You are always welcome here.”