African Engagement

Brig. Gen. Mike Callan, vice commander of 17th Air Force (Air Forces Africa), led a USAF delegation to Mali and Senegal in late October to meet with senior officials from those nation’s air forces and get a first-hand look at their capabilities. “It’s important for us to hear directly from the host nation what their priorities are as we work to develop a sustained engagement strategy,” said Callan. He said the common theme is their desire for assistance in increasing their capacity in the air domain—for example better air mobility capability—and in developing a corps of professional officers and noncommissioned officers. The US is already developing a 10-year assistance plan for Mali, which seeks enhanced aircraft maintenance and logistics systems, better interoperability with the US and regional partners, and a further professionalization of its defense forces. (Kaolack, Senegal, report by Maj. Paula Kurtz)