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Kenyan, Ugandan troops learn combat rescue tactics from Airmen

U.S. Air Force Maj. Todd Tyler, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa, African Partnership Flight Kenya mission commander, speaks with Kenyan and Ugandan Defense Forces at Laikipia Air Base, Kenya, June 20, 2016. More than 50 U.S. Air Force Airmen participated in the first African Partnership Flight in Kenya. The APF is designed for U.S. and African partner nations to work together in a learning environment to help build expertise and professional knowledge and skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Evelyn Chavez/Released)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Todd Tyler, the African Partnership Flight Kenya mission commander, speaks with Kenyan and Ugandan defense forces at Laikipia Air Base, Kenya, June 20, 2016. More than 50 U.S. Airmen participated in the first APF in Kenya. The APF is designed for U.S. and African partner nations to work together in a learning environment to help build expertise, professional knowledge and skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)

Kenyan and Ugandan Defense Forces are instructed by Lt. Col. Mark Prete, tactical combat casualty care instructor, 104th Fighter Wing Massachusetts Air National Guard, on how to apply a tourniquet during African Partnership Flight Kenya at Laikipia Air Base, Kenya, June 20, 2016. More than 50 U.S. Air Force Airmen participated in the first African Partnership Flight in Kenya. The APF is designed for U.S. and African partner nations to work together in a learning environment to help build expertise and professional knowledge and skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Evelyn Chavez/Released)

Members of the Kenyan and Ugandan defense forces are instructed by Lt. Col. Mark Prete, a tactical combat casualty care instructor from the Massachusetts Air National Guard’s 104th Fighter Wing, on how to apply a tourniquet during African Partnership Flight Kenya at Laikipia Air Base, Kenya, June 20, 2016. More than 50 U.S. Airmen are participated in the first APF in Kenya. The APF is designed for U.S. and African partner nations to work together in a learning environment to help build expertise, professional knowledge and skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)

A Kenyan airman introduces himself during classroom training for African Partnership Flight Kenya at Laikipia Air Base, Kenya, June 20, 2016. More than 50 U.S. Air Force Airmen participated in the first African Partnership Flight in Kenya. The APF is designed for U.S. and African partner nations to work together in a learning environment to help build expertise and professional knowledge and skills. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Evelyn Chavez/Released)

A Kenyan airman introduces himself during classroom training for African Partnership Flight Kenya at Laikipia Air Base, Kenya, June 20, 2016. More than 50 U.S. Airmen participated in the first APF in Kenya. The APF is designed for U.S. and African partner nations to work together in a learning environment to help build expertise, professional knowledge and skills. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Evelyn Chavez)

LAIKIPIA AIR BASE, Kenya (AFNS) -- The first African Partnership Flight in Kenya officially began its mission following opening ceremonies here June 21.

More than 50 U.S. Airmen, along with participants from the Kenyan and Ugandan defense forces, were welcomed by Robert Godec, the U.S. ambassador to Kenya, and Raychelle Omamo, the Kenyan cabinet secretary of defense.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it is a great pleasure to be here today as we launch this training event on personnel recovery and combat search and rescue,” Godec said. “These capabilities are vitally important to ensure the safety, security and morale of the Kenyan security forces. This week’s training exercise represents yet another example of the ongoing cooperation between the United States and Kenya.”

APF was designed as a collaborative learning environment that combines U.S. and African partner nations’ expertise to help build upon professional knowledge and skills.

“It is important to work together because it helps us to not only guarantee regional interoperability but also regional cooperation,” said Maj. Todd Tyler, the flight’s mission commander. “Our aim for APF Kenya is to help these partner nations fight their own transnational threats and strengthen their own armed forces to the point where they are self-sustaining.”

Over the course of 10 days, instructors and participants comprised of total force Airmen from U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa and the Massachusetts Air National Guard will conduct classroom instruction and hands-on training in areas such as personnel recovery, command and control, survival and evasion principles, and tactical combat casualty care.

Training will conclude with exercise Linda Rhino, a two-day, Kenya Defense Forces-led personnel recovery exercise.

“I would like to thank the U.S. for sponsoring this program,” said Brig. Francis Ogolla, the deputy commander of the Kenya Air Force. “It is obvious that you have a lot of experience in personnel recovery and combat search and rescue, and this is what we want to learn.”

The intent of APF is to build strong regional partnerships among African partner nations that prepare them for potential conflicts before they start.

“We will continue to stand with the Kenyan government and people to find ways to assure peace and prosperity across Africa,” Godec said.

Community engagement through medical outreach and the USAFE - AFAFRICA band is also scheduled throughout the duration of the program. Events will conclude on June 29.

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