First Airman selected for UN Logistics Officer Course

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Liliana Moreno
  • 621st Contingency Response Wing
For the first time ever, an Airman will attend the 2018 United Nations Logistics Officer Course in Bangladesh starting in fall 2018.

Capt. Stephanie Kaari a logistics officer assigned to the 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadron, recently received notification she was selected to attend the course.

“I'm really excited about the opportunity to travel to Bangladesh and attend this course to learn about logistics from a U.N. perspective,” Kaari said. “Throughout my career, my best memories are from working with local national personnel and partner nation militaries and I'm looking forward to learning from the people from the Bangladeshi, Indian, Sri Lankan, and Nepalese militaries who will also be attending this course.”

Kaari explained how she became familiar and interested in the U.N.’s peacekeeping missions as an air advisor in the 571st MSAS.

“Over the past year, air advisors from my squadron have trained and advised the Uruguayan and El Salvadoran air forces to deploy in support of U.N. global peacekeeping objectives in the Congo and Mali, respectively,” Kaari said. “The 571st MSAS is on the front lines of enabling Southern Command nations to transform other countries from areas of conflict to peace, and it's really exciting to be a part of the team.”

The board considered 30 applicants before selecting Kaari to be the first Air Force representative to attend the U.N. Logistics Officer Course. The course prepares participants for work in all aspects of logistics in a U.N. operation, including the ability to differentiate between national and U.N. logistic responsibilities.

“We have no doubt that with her experience, Kaari will be an exceptional representative to our partners in the region,” said Lt. Col. Minpo Shiue, a member of the Secretary of the Air Force International Affairs.

Shiue explained, this type of training supports one of the top priorities of the secretary of the Air Force and chief of staff of the Air Force, to strengthen alliances and emphasizes on international partner engagement and security cooperation.

“For Bangladesh, we are trying to improve our engagement and relationships at the tactical level, Airmen to Airmen level,” Shiue said. “We've had high level interactions through attendance by senior officers at U.S. Air Force Professional Military Education courses. But there has been a lack of engagement at the lower level, unless it's during the numerous humanitarian assistance and disaster response missions. These PME opportunities allow us to build and enhance relationships at the lower level in a non-crisis environment. Our attendance at this course shows the U.S. commitment to the region.”

Kaari said this opportunity will help prepare her for future missions as an air advisor and prospective positions in the Security Cooperation enterprise.

“As an Air Force logistics readiness officer, understanding how logistics processes function in other large organizations enables me to be a more well-rounded logistician,” Kaari explained. “I'm looking forward to bringing back what I've learned from the course and sharing it with the logistics community.”

Most importantly, Kaari believes this course could help open doors to build personal and professional relationships between U.S., Bangladeshi, Indian, Sri Lankan, and Nepalese military members.

"Through sharing experiences and getting to know someone at an individual level, you realize that everyone, regardless of country of origin, gender, religion, etc., shares common elements of humanity,” Kaari added. “I believe those commonalities are what links us all and will help establish a foundation for a partnership moving forward.”