The first-ever Trans-Sahara Culture of Maintenance and Logistics Course is under way at Sheppard AFB, Tex., for military personnel from seven African nations. The three-week course—a partnership between 17th Air Force (Air Forces Africa) and Air Education and Training Command—is teaching aircraft and vehicle maintenance, logistics, and safety fundamentals to students from Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, and Tunisia. “Big picture, we’re strengthening existing international relationships and building new ones where none existed before,” said Capt. Manuel Hauck of 17th AF. “Tactically, we’re aiming to increase the ability of these nations to maintain their equipment and sustain operations in a difficult environment—the Sahara Desert.” The curriculum is taught simultaneously in French and English. The first class will graduate on May 27. Sheppard officials plan to host a second session in September. (Sheppard report by George Woodward) (See also Schwartz Eyes Expanded Ties with Africa from the Daily Report archives.)
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.