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AFRICOM logistics lead discusses international partners with U.S. logistics experts

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Leonard Kosinski, U.S. Africa Command director of logistics, spoke to international logistics experts during a webinar hosted by the Lexington Institute July 8.

By U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs , United States Africa Command Stuttgart, Germany Jul 10, 2020

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Leonard Kosinski, U.S. Africa Command director of logistics, spoke to international logistics experts during a webinar hosted by the Lexington Institute July 8.

Kosinski discussed the logistical challenges in Africa and the need to partner with commercial industry to help overcome challenges and leverage lessons learned.

"I believe a 'whole of nation' approach is needed in Africa and that includes involving private industry," Kosinski said. "Many commercial businesses have found ways to overcome the logistical challenges of operating in Africa, and the U.S. government can learn from their experiences and leverage their expertise."

The U.S. military's engagements with African partners focus on improving their capacity to respond to security issues in their countries. A secure and stable environment advances economic development and creates opportunity for business to operate safely on the continent, he said.

Logistics plays a crucial role in executing the command's mission. In East Africa, U.S. Africa Command supports missions and the building, training and equipping of Somali combat units. This requires significant logistics operations, including airlift of supplies and equipment as well as navigation through dangerous conflict-torn and remote areas. In the Sahel, U.S. Africa Command routinely shares assets, such as medical evacuation, logistics support, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and air refueling with our French partners committed to addressing the terrorist threats in that region.

Kosinski told the group that COVID-19 has created another logistical challenge–this is the first time since World War II that the U.S. military had to address a "continent-wide" crisis. However, the command's support to African partners continues despite the pandemic.

U.S. Africa Command also works with international partner networks to meet U.S. and partner logistics needs. The command recently partnered with the multinational Heavy Airlift Wing (HAW) to deliver critical supplies to troops supporting operations as part of an effort to strengthen international logistics support in Africa. The HAW, based in Pápa Air Base, Hungary, provides strategic airlift support for 10 NATO nations and two Partners for Peace. Partners for Peace is a program of practical bilateral cooperation between individual Euro-Atlantic partner countries and NATO.

"Working with this multinational HAW not only strengthens partnerships, but brings together collective international capability to support Africa," said Kosinski, who accompanied the HAW on the mission.

Kosinski's engagement with the Lexington Institute underscored the importance of leveraging the lessons learned from multiple government, international, and private sector partners while operating in Africa.

"Our partnerships are what enable us to meet our logistics needs," he said. "I look forward to continuing to work together and develop new and innovative solutions to shared challenges in Africa."



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