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Senegalese armed forces concludes aeromedical evacuation training

  • Published
  • By Mr. Dreshawn Murray
  • USAFE-AFAFRICA Public Affairs

Senegalese armed forces personnel successfully concluded the final phase of the Aeromedical Evacuation Teams training at Ouakam Air Base Jan. 26.  

The accomplishment caps a five-year journey for the Senegalese air force, which has been actively involved in aerial patient movement since 2019 in collaboration with the U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa Surgeon General Office and Defense Institute for Military Operations

The commitment exhibited by SENAF throughout the AMET program underscores their dedication to enhancing aeromedical capabilities and contributing to global peacekeeping efforts. 

“Completing the fifth and final phase of the AMET program represents a significant milestone for the Senegalese Armed Forces,” said Col. Steven Lehr, USAFE-AFAFRICA command surgeon. “This demonstrates their ability to not only learn a critical function but the ability to sustain it through development of their own cadre that can teach and evaluate their ability to perform this mission.” 

Lehr also added, “Aeromedical evacuation is a critical capability on a continent as vast as Africa. The SENAF are now poised to support United Nations and African Union missions that ultimately serve greater regional stability.”

The Phase V training, executed under the guidance of Defense Institute of Medical Operations, unfolded as a five-day exercise, challenging the team with diverse tactical and medical scenarios. Culminating in a final capstone event, the phase encapsulated the collective knowledge required through all five phases, offering invaluable hands-on experience in a real-world setting, priming SENAF for upcoming medical evacuation scenarios.  

 
“In the privilege of teaching and witnessing these remarkable individuals excel in our program lies the promise of a brighter future,” said Col. James Webb, Defense Institute of Military Operations instructor and master clinician. “The Senegalese military’s commitment to excellence assures that they will stand as stalwarts in UN peacekeeping operations for years to come.” 

The AMET program, a vital component supporting United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, has undergone multiple phases, with Phase I initiated in 2019 under the former aerial patient movement program.  

As the program evolved, SENAF completed Phase II in April 2023, Phase III in July 2023, and Phase IV in September 2023.  

The culmination of these efforts leading up to Phase V marks a significant milestone for Senegal's military capabilities and their commitment to achieving UN validation.  

Tech. Sgt. Larry Russian, an international health specialist and AMET program manager assigned to the USAFE-AFAFRICA Surgeon General Office, applauded SENAF dedication, commitment and perseverance during their journey.  

“These qualities cannot be more evident in our partner nation of Senegal,” he said. “From Phase 0 to Phase V, Senegal’s armed forces have demonstrated ownership and sustainability of their Aeromedical Evacuation Teams program in preparation to pursue UN validation in support of peace keeping operations.” 

Russian went on to say the capacity the Senegalese have developed will help support their own civilian population and military forces aerial patient movement needs.  

The completion of Phase V underscores Senegal’s commitment to maintain peace and stability in the region and positions Senegal as a valuable contributor in future UN missions.