General Frank Gorenc, Commander of the United States Air force –Europe/Africa, has urged African countries to forge regional military partnership to address their collective challenges.
He said the partnership would allow the continent to combine resources and capabilities to promote peace, security and stability.
Gen Gorenc was speaking at the Third Regional Air Chiefs Conference in Accra.
The three-day conference, being co-hosted by the Ghana Air Force and the US Air force, is on theme: “Air Power Contributions to Irregular Warfare Operations.”
The programme, which runs from August 20- August 22, is being attended by participants from Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mauritania, and Niger.
The rest are from Senegal, Togo, Uganda, Nigeria and the United States Air force-Europe/ Africa Command.
Gen Gorenc said over the years air power had been instrumental in dissuading many adversaries as well as dealing with natural disasters and unforeseen consequences.
He cited the Malian operations to highlight the effectiveness of the dynamic capabilities of air power.
Gen Gorenc, however, said employing kinetic airpower alone could have unintended consequences such as civilian casualties and excessive collateral damage.
Vice Admiral Matthew Quarshie, Chief of the Defence Staff, charged the participants to develop a common platform and capacity to confront the current security challenges facing not only the African Air Force but the Armed Forces as a whole.
He called for collaborative efforts between air power with land and naval forces as well as political and diplomatic efforts to stem the tide of conflicts on the African continent.
He said the greatest threat to global security, which had produced a lot of anxiety, are endemic poverty, growing inequality, high unemployment and trans-national crime.
Air Vice Marshal Michael Samson-Oje, Chief of Air Staff, who gave the conference overview, said the objective is to harmonise the efforts of the Regional Air Chiefs towards the threats posed by non-state actors.
He said there are numerous risks to regional peace and security in parts of West Africa, the Sahel, the horn of Africa and the Great Lakes Region due to rise of ultra-violent extremist and non-state armed organisations.
Air Vice Samson-Oje said the threats had created the urgent need to address the operational and security challenges nations face in their efforts to confront terrorism, insurgency and undertake emerging peacekeeping or support operations. GNA