Gen. Ham, senior leaders visit Southern Accord 2012
By Sgt. Charlie Helmholt, 139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
THEBEPHATSHWA AIR BASE, The Republic of Botswana–Gen. Carter F. Ham, Commander, U.S. Africa Command, toured various training areas of Southern Accord 2012 as it drew to a close Aug. 16.
Ham visited several destinations crucial to the exercise, including two Botswana Aviation hangers, U.S. Army Africa’s Contingency Command Post, the Tactical Operation Center, and Mmakanke Range, where a live fire demonstration took place which included a demonstration flight of an RQ-11 Raven Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.
“The Botswana Defense Force and the United States military maintain a very strong and professional relationship, which is exemplified by the hard work and the significant accomplishments displayed over the last several weeks here during exercise Southern Accord 2012,” said Ham.
Joining Ham were several other distinguished guests including: U.S. Army Africa Commander Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue; Deputy Director of the Army National Guard, Maj. Gen. Timothy J. Kadavy; The Adjutant General of the North Carolina National Guard, Maj. Gen. Gregory A. Lusk; the Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Africa, Brig. Gen. Isaac G. Osborne; and the Adjutant General of the New Jersey National Guard, Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff.
Also attending the day’s activities were Botswana Defense Force Deputy Commander Maj. Gen. Placid Segokgo; BDF Ground Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Gotsileene Morake; BDF Air Arm Commander, Maj. Gen. Odirile Mashinyana; and Assistant Chief of Staff, Operations Brig. Gen. Therego Seretse.
The tour of SA12 culminated with the end-of-training ceremony. Keynote speakers included Ham and Segokgo, both of whom praised the Soldiers and support elements who made the exercise possible.
“To the participants of exercise Southern Accord 12, allow me on behalf of our nation, and indeed on my own behalf, to congratulate each and every one of you for giving your best during the three weeks you were involved in the exercise,” said Segokgo, “Without your commitment, dedication and patience, this exercise would not have been the success it is today.”
Ham echoed this sentiment.
“Over the past few weeks, American and Botswana Forces together have done a tremendous amount of training, and they have also provided needed assistance to many people here in the country of Botswana,” Ham said. “They built roads and they built ponds…but the most important thing they built was trust.”