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African Partnership Flight Angola 2014 begins

LUANDA AIR BASE, Angola (AFNS) -- African Partnership Flight Angola 2014 began with an opening ceremony here March 24.

More than 200 people from the participating nations of Angola, the United States and Zambia were in attendance, to include the U.S. Embassy to Angola charge d'affaires, Heather Merritt, and the Angolan air force air chief, Lt. Gen. Domingos Adriano de Silva Neto.

"The African Partnership Flight that is taking place in Luanda this week represents a strengthening of strategic ties between the Republic of Angola and the United States of America," Merritt said.

The event included opening comments by distinguished visitors, a press engagement and a performance by the Angolan air force dance troupe.

After the opening ceremonies, the participants split into three groups to attend workshops that intend to facilitate a collaborative learning environment.

"During the next five days we are going to have an exchanging of experiences," Silva Neto said. "This will reinforce the abilities of our air force in the region essential for future generations of peace keeping."

Throughout the week, the approximately 35 U.S., 20 Zambian and 75 Angolan airmen will increase their knowledge by providing input on their diverse experiences in discussions that focus on mission planning, disaster preparedness and cargo buildup.

The intention of APF is to strengthen the regional partnerships within Africa by improving the proficiency and readiness of key mission areas.

"Welcome and on behalf of the air force and on my own behalf, I wish to all the participants a great stay and the grace of the knowledge that there was a successful fulfillment of the mission assigned to us," Silva Neto said.

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