Uganda Gets US Airlift Training

1 September 2009 (Last Updated September 1st, 2009 18:30)

The US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) have conducted training mission with Ugandan forces to enhance the country's humanitarian airlift capability. The mission enabled Ugandan forces to familiarise themselves with the C-130 Hercules aircraft, a heavy airlift helicopter that will help the

The US Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) have conducted training mission with Ugandan forces to enhance the country's humanitarian airlift capability.

The mission enabled Ugandan forces to familiarise themselves with the C-130 Hercules aircraft, a heavy airlift helicopter that will help the country’s forces deal with humanitarian disasters such as the recent heavy flooding in the country.

USAFE 17th air force deputy chief of policy, doctrine and senior leader engagements Major Jim Hackbarth said that recently, torrential rains and flooding in Uganda had cut off thousands of Ugandan citizens from ground transportation of supplies, leaving aerial delivery as the only viable option.

"If they have the right equipment and are in the closest proximity to the affected area, then it makes sense for them to build that capacity within their force," he said.

Ramstein AFB 37th airlift squadron navigator captain Brian Shea said that ultimately, these events allow them to share information in both directions and build an air-focused relationship with partners throughout the US European Command and US Africa Command.

As a part of the the cooperation initiative, USAFE sent a C-130 aircraft and airmen to enable Ugandan forces to observe the USAFE prepare for and conduct airdrop of humanitarian supplies during a crisis.

At present the Ugandan defence only owns one civilian variant of the C-130.

Theatre security cooperation events such as this have previously been held with the USAF in Botswana, South Africa, Algeria, Poland, Bulgaria and Israel.