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SecAF visits service members at Nigerien Air Base 201

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett and service members deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201 pose for a photo in Agadez, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. While at the installation, Barrett learned how each unit supports the mission from building the future of the base to defending its assets and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett and service members deployed to Nigerien Air Base 201 pose for a photo in Agadez, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. While at the installation, Barrett learned how each unit supports the mission, from building the future of the base to defending its assets and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett drives a bomb disposal robot used by the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron during her visit to Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. While at the installation, Barrett learned how each unit supports the mission from building the future of the base to defending its assets and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett operates a bomb disposal robot used by the explosive ordnance disposal team deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron during her visit to Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. While at the installation, Barrett learned how each unit supports the mission, from building the future of the base to defending its assets and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett and U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Siden Yem, 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron material management section chief, show off their paracord bracelets he made at Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. During her first visit to the African continent since taking office in October, Barrett’s focus was centered solely on the U.S. service members deployed there. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett and Tech. Sgt. Siden Yem, 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron materiel management section chief, show off their paracord bracelets he made at Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. During her first visit to the African continent since taking office in October, Barrett’s focus was centered solely on the deployed U.S. service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

A member of the Forces Armées Nigeriennes (Nigerien Armed Forces) talks with Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett during her visit to Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. Members of the 409th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron and FAN work together through their cooperative partnership to vigilantly secure and defend the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

A member of the Forces Armées Nigeriennes talks with Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett during her visit to Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. Members of the 409th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron and FAN work together through their cooperative partnership to secure and defend the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett speaks to firefighters deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron during her visit to Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. While at the installation, Barrett learned how each unit supports the mission from building the future of the base to defending its assets and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett speaks to firefighters deployed to the 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron during her visit to Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. While at the installation, Barrett learned how each unit supports the mission, from building the future of the base to defending its assets and personnel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett receives a coin made from a core sample of the flightline from an 819th Expeditionary Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer Airmen during her visit to Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. During her first visit to the African continent since taking office in October, Barrett’s focus was centered solely on the U.S. service members deployed there. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett receives a coin made from a core sample of the flightline from an 819th Expeditionary Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron Engineer Airmen during her visit to Nigerien Air Base 201, Niger, Dec. 21, 2019. During her first visit to the African continent since taking office in October, Barrett’s focus was centered solely on the deployed U.S. service members. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Alex Fox Echols III)

NIGERIEN AIR BASE 201, Niger (AFNS) --

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara M. Barrett traveled to Agadez, Niger, to meet and thank personnel at Nigerien Air Base 201 during the holidays, Dec. 21-22.

During her first visit to the African continent since taking office in October, Barrett’s focus was centered solely on the deployed U.S. service members.

“There is nothing that fills my heart with joy more than seeing the extraordinary work and the spirit of the people who are here making this an operation of which America can be proud,” Barrett said.

From building the future of the base to defending its assets and personnel, Barrett learned how each unit supports the mission at Nigerien Air Base 201.

“I’ve never been more proud of our Airmen,” said Col. Jonathan Creer, 409th Air Expeditionary Group commander. “This visit is a perfect opportunity for the Secretary of the Air Force to thank our troops for their service, their sacrifice, for living the core values and for the things they are doing in West Africa to build our partner capacity and support the United States Africa Command objectives.”

While at the base, one of the secretary’s primary objectives was to relay a message to the personnel that work and live on the installation.

“I’d like to express the gratitude of a grateful nation to the men and women who serve deployed here in Agadez during a time like the holidays,” Barrett said. “We deeply appreciate their contribution, the challenges they face and the dedication they demonstrate.”

While Agadez was her first stop, the secretary’s tour continued across West Africa to meet the U.S. Airmen deployed to Nigerien Air Base 101 in Niamey, Niger.

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