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CMSAF releases enlisted perspective

THE PENTAGON -- Building partner nation capacity is critical

Last week, 370 senior enlisted leaders from around the world gathered to talk about the issues affecting the U.S. Air Force. Among those were representatives from 18 partner nations.

There was a two-fold benefit to having our international partners attend. For our partner nations, it reinforced their view that we are here to work with them. Second, it allowed us to learn from the unique perspectives they bring to the table.

Having the partner nations at the conference was critical to its success. Our Airmen operate in an increasingly joint and coalition atmosphere, so having those partnerships is crucial to the Air Force's mission of "fly, fight and win."

Across the globe, enlisted Airmen are building those relationships. In Canada, we've built a professional military education partnership. For years, we have had Canadian students and instructors at our Air Force Senior NCO Academy; we also have an instructor at the Canadian equivalent school. We've furthered that partnership by enrolling our first Airman into the Advanced Leadership Qualification Course that is scheduled to graduate in June.

We're also working closely with our South American partners. I saw this recently while touring the Inter-American Air Forces Academy at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. IAAFA provides technical and military education training in Spanish for more than 600 students annually. These students come from 21 Latin America and Caribbean countries' military forces and governmental agencies.

In Africa, two senior master sergeants recently traveled to Ghana to visit the Air Force Recruit Training School. This was U.S. Air Forces in Europe's third visit to the country to build upon the growing relationship between 17th Air Force, the air component to U.S. Africa Command, and Ghana's Air Force.

Seventeenth Air Force is also actively involved in U.S. Africa Command's Theater Security Cooperation, or TSC. They are working to help our African partners develop security capacity and enhance professional capabilities of their armed forces. Military analysis has determined that small traveling teams are the most effective way to engage with our partner nations to help them achieve their goals. More information about TSC is available on the Air Force Portal.

Building partner nation capacity is critical to our continued success as a service, department and nation.
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