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Air Chiefs and representatives from 29 African nations gather for annual symposium
Botswana hosts record number of African air chiefs during seventh annual symposium
Air chiefs attending the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium pose for a group photo in Kasane, Botswana on May 16, 2017. The nations in attendance are Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkino Faso, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Keyna, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisa, Uganda, United States of America and Zambia. A representative from the African Union was also in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released)
4 photos: Air Chiefs and representatives from 29 African nations gather for annual symposium
Photo 1 of 4: Air chiefs attending the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium pose for a group photo in Kasane, Botswana on May 16, 2017. The nations in attendance are Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkino Faso, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Keyna, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisa, Uganda, United States of America and Zambia. A representative from the African Union was also in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released) Download full-resolution version
Maj. Gen. Innocent S. Phatshwana, Botswana Defence Force Air Arm commander, speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium in Kasane, Botswana May 16, 2017. This year's conference is co-hosted by the United States and Botswana and will focus on the training aspect of force development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released)
4 photos: Air Chiefs and representatives from 29 African nations gather for annual symposium
Photo 2 of 4: Maj. Gen. Innocent S. Phatshwana, Botswana Defence Force Air Arm commander, speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium in Kasane, Botswana May 16, 2017. This year's conference is co-hosted by the United States and Botswana and will focus on the training aspect of force development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released) Download full-resolution version
Gen. Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium in Kasane, Botswana on May 16, 2017. The purpose of the symposium is to create a forum for air chiefs from across the African continent to come together to address regional and continental issues, enhance relationships and increase cooperation. This year's conference will focus on the training aspect of force development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released)
4 photos: Air Chiefs and representatives from 29 African nations gather for annual symposium
Photo 3 of 4: Gen. Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium in Kasane, Botswana on May 16, 2017. The purpose of the symposium is to create a forum for air chiefs from across the African continent to come together to address regional and continental issues, enhance relationships and increase cooperation. This year's conference will focus on the training aspect of force development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released) Download full-resolution version
Attendees of the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium listen to air chiefs introductions during the opening ceremony in Kasane, Botswana on May 16, 2017. The purpose of the symposium is to create a forum for air chiefs from across the African continent to come together to address regional and continental issues, enhance relationships and increase cooperation. This year's conference will focus on the training aspect of force development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released)
4 photos: Air Chiefs and representatives from 29 African nations gather for annual symposium
Photo 4 of 4: Attendees of the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium listen to air chiefs introductions during the opening ceremony in Kasane, Botswana on May 16, 2017. The purpose of the symposium is to create a forum for air chiefs from across the African continent to come together to address regional and continental issues, enhance relationships and increase cooperation. This year's conference will focus on the training aspect of force development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released) Download full-resolution version
Air chiefs attending the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium pose for a group photo in Kasane, Botswana on May 16, 2017. The nations in attendance are Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkino Faso, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Keyna, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisa, Uganda, United States of America and Zambia. A representative from the African Union was also in attendance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released)
Maj. Gen. Innocent S. Phatshwana, Botswana Defence Force Air Arm commander, speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium in Kasane, Botswana May 16, 2017. This year's conference is co-hosted by the United States and Botswana and will focus on the training aspect of force development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released)
Gen. Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander, speaks during the opening ceremony of the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium in Kasane, Botswana on May 16, 2017. The purpose of the symposium is to create a forum for air chiefs from across the African continent to come together to address regional and continental issues, enhance relationships and increase cooperation. This year's conference will focus on the training aspect of force development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released)
Attendees of the 2017 African Air Chiefs Symposium listen to air chiefs introductions during the opening ceremony in Kasane, Botswana on May 16, 2017. The purpose of the symposium is to create a forum for air chiefs from across the African continent to come together to address regional and continental issues, enhance relationships and increase cooperation. This year's conference will focus on the training aspect of force development. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Krystal Ardrey/Released)

KASANE, Botswana - The seventh annual African Air Chiefs Symposium, May 16, 2017.

The African Air Chiefs Symposium is an annual forum for air chiefs from across the African continent to come together with the United States to discuss important regional and continental issues, and how African air forces can best work together to respond to challenges and create solutions. This year's symposium will focus on the training aspects of force development.

The opening ceremony featured remarks from Maj. Gen. Gotsileene Morake, Botswana Defence Force deputy commander, Maj. Gen. Innocent S. Phatshwana, BDF Air Arm commander, Amb. Earl R. Miller, U.S. Ambassador to Botswana, Gen. Tod D. Wolters, U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa commander and an introduction by each air chief.

“It is indeed humbling and a great feat to see the air chiefs from the various corners of the African continent gathered here for this forum in Botswana for a common cause,” said Morake, who opened the symposium. “I believe I speak for all of you when I say that such a forum creates a unique opportunity to renew contacts and discuss issues of mutual interest among participating air forces.”

The two-day event drew a record number of air chiefs and military leaders for a total of 29 nations in attendance. This year marks the largest symposium to date, with three more nations in attendance than last year's conference.

“This is an exciting opportunity to share our thoughts with other air chiefs on professional development as it applies to training events and the enlisted force that day after day provides us with the tactics, techniques and procedures for our air forces' to do so much in the future,” said Wolters.

During the symposium the air chiefs will participate in several discussions and workshops to increase their understanding of each other's capabilities and discuss challenges affecting their regions.

The 29 nations in attendance are Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Malawi, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and the United States. Another important participant in the symposium was a representative from the African Union.

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