Lt. Gen. Eric Chimese, Zambian air force commander, along with a team of senior-military officials, visited U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa headquarters, giving them a chance to further military relations and improve the partnership between the U.S. and Zambian air forces.
During the visit, USAFE-AFAFRICA officials showcased training courses as well as maintenance and professional development programs, such as the Ramstein Airman Leadership School and the Kisling NCO Academy. It also provided them with information on current and future cooperative operations and events.
“A visit like this one is important because with a developing country we need to interact with other nations,” Chimese said.
“We are a new leadership and we believe we need to look at things differently, to be a little bit more open and benefit from the immense resources and abilities of the U.S. Air Force.”
In addition to the tour of the 86th Maintenance Group and the 86th Operations Support Squadron’s control tower, the guests also visited the 435th Contingency Response Group’s facility where CRG members displayed an array of
deployable equipment such as medical kits, weather forecast technology and security equipment.
“This has been an awesome experience,” Chimese said. “This partnership, this kind of interaction can be used as a platform to grow our air force and our capabilities.”
Not only did the tour provide the Zambian air force leadership with hands-on insight into U.S. Air Force capabilities, it also promoted a partnership between the two militaries.
“This was a wonderful opportunity for (USAFE-AFAFRICA) to strengthen its relationship with the Zambian air force,” said
Maj. Marshall Preston, USAFE-AFAFRICA political-military strategist. “Visits like this give us a chance to build partnerships while exchanging ideas between our two air forces.”
The three-day visit, packed with tours, displays and demonstrations finally came to a successful conclusion.
“They’ve enjoyed their time here,” said Lt. Col. David Wallin, defense and air attaché to Zambia. “They’ve learned a great deal about how we do business and we in turn have learned something about what they do. It’s a great give and take relationship and we’re all very excited about advancing this partnership.”