Ethiopian Air Force officers visit Commonwealth

Oct. 1, 2010 | By kentuckyguard
MJO By Spc. Michelle Waters, 133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachments
[caption id="attachment_3146" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Master Sgt. Ronald Thomas, hydraulic shop supervisor for the Kentucky Air National Guard, talks to members of the Ethiopian Air Force about maintenance procedures for military aircraft. (Kentucky National Guard photograph by Spc Michelle Waters)"] LOUISVILLE, Ky., (Oct. 01, 2010) – The Kentucky Air National Guard air base was recently visited by three members of the Ethiopian Air Force as part of a program sponsored by the United States African Command (AFRICOM). “We are here to observe the U.S. Air Force flight operations,” said Col. Tiqneh Hableqiorqis Teklemariam, a C-130 instructor pilot for the Ethiopian Air Force.  AFRICOM is responsible for maintaining U.S. military operations within the continent of Africa and assists in building military cooperation throughout 53 African nations.  The three officers visited the Kentucky Air Guard to observe the training and maintenance procedures of 123rd Maintenance Squadron.  The Ethiopian Air Force has two C-130 and two L-100 air transports that they use to support peacekeeping operations in Africa. [caption id="attachment_3147" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Tech. Sgt. Greg Norberg and Michael Embry explain the removal, installation and repair practices of the aircraft fuel systems to members of the Ethiopian Air Force. (Kentucky National Guard photograph by Spc Michelle Waters)"] “Supporting them in these endeavors helps take the op-tempo off the U.S. Air Force assets because of their internal capability to do it,” said Lt. Col. Christopher Fournio, a security officer with AFRICOM. The Ethiopian Air Force officers observed how the Kentucky Air National Guard operates so they can take these practices back to their own country to utilize and help maintain their own aircraft.  The principal goal is to see if there are any systems of the U.S. that they can utilize in order to make their programs more efficient, and build a relationship between the two nations. “It’s great to have them here. We can really learn a lot from each other. We are all one family with a common goal,” said Maj. James Bishop, 123rd Maintenance Squadron Commander.

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