Togolese AF, MSAS air advisors train together during military engagement

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Clarissa Grizzle

Members of the 818th and 571st Mobility Support Advisory Squadrons traveled to Lomé, Togo, last week to conduct the first military-to-military engagement between the Togolese Air Force and the 621st Air Mobility Advisory Group Air Advisors in 11 years.

The team, comprised of four 818th MSAS Air Advisors from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, and one 571st MSAS Air Advisor from Travis Air Force Base, California, supported the TAF airframe program through a week of maintenance and logistics exchanges, aiding the TAF in effectively and efficiently conducting maintenance and logistical operations practices while strengthening the aviation-related partnership with the TAF.

Air Advisors, TAF maintainers and logistics specialists discussed practices focused on part acquisition and resourcing while exchanging tactics, techniques and procedures on the conduct of these operations in the execution of military-to-military engagements.

Multiple news reports from the area have brought to light the strategic and peacekeeping advantages of Togo for Africa in combating terrorist activities and groups, including the recent surge in attacks near the Burkina Faso border by Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM).

"Throughout the assessment, it became abundantly clear that the Togolese Air Force is performing at a high level across many of its mission sets to secure its northern border from terrorist extremists," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sandre Lillington, 818th MSAS air transportation air advisor. "This engagement showed a willingness from the Togolese to grow its capabilities and work with the United States Air Force to ensure regional stability. This aligns directly with 818th MSAS's mission of building partnership capabilities."

The MSAS team assembled 16 members from the TAF to accomplish this engagement while also meeting with key leaders from the Lomé Air Base. These collaborative efforts resulted in a more comprehensive understanding of the TAF procedures, fortifying security cooperation efforts for both countries while opening the door for future collaborations and exchanges of expertise in other specialties between the TAF and Air Advisor teams.

"This was the first engagement with Togo in over 11 years and their wing commander was very eager to have us back soon to offer training courses," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Eduardo Aguas, 571st MSAS aircraft maintenance air advisor. "Having an impact on the day-to-day operations of an entire foreign military has been a very humbling and gratifying experience. This is the only job in the Air Force that will allow you this opportunity.