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MSAS builds partnerships, capacity in Zambia

A Zambian Air Force Airman trains on the night vision goggles with members of the 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron in Lusaka, Zambia, May 31, 2017. The MSAS illustrates the U.S. commitment with regional partners in ways that expand cooperation between counterparts, bolster partner nation capacity, enhance trust and transparency, and create cooperative solutions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

A Zambian Air Force Airman trains on the night vision goggles with members of the 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron in Lusaka, Zambia, May 31, 2017. The MSAS illustrates the U.S. commitment with regional partners in ways that expand cooperation between counterparts, bolster partner nation capacity, enhance trust and transparency, and create cooperative solutions. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Evan Gohring and Tech. Sgt. Kara Offner, 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron air advisors stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., brief Zambian Air Force Airmen on command post procedures during a building partner capacity mission in Lusaka, Zambia, May 29, 2017. The Zambian Air Force is preparing for their first deployment ever in a U.N. humanitarian mission in South Sudan in a few months. MSAS plays an essential role in establishing and maintaining relations with strategic partner nations such as Zambia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Evan Gohring and Tech. Sgt. Kara Offner, 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron air advisors stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., brief Zambian Air Force Airmen on command post procedures during a building partner capacity mission in Lusaka, Zambia, May 29, 2017. The Zambian Air Force is preparing for their first deployment ever in a U.N. humanitarian mission in South Sudan in a few months. MSAS plays an essential role in establishing and maintaining relations with strategic partner nations such as Zambia. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

A Zambian Air Force Airman runs quickly and aims his weapon as he attempts to establish security during fly away security training in Lusaka, Zambia, June 1, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

A Zambian Air Force Airman runs quickly and aims his weapon as he attempts to establish security during fly away security training in Lusaka, Zambia, June 1, 2017. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sarah Colwell, security forces air advisor assigned to the 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., briefs Zambian Air Force Airmen about unexploded ordinance reports during a building partner capacity mission in Lusaka, Zambia, May 29, 2017. A UXO report is used to uppchannel information on UXOs found and to gather instruction on how to safely respond to the situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Sarah Colwell, security forces air advisor assigned to the 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., briefs Zambian Air Force Airmen about unexploded ordinance reports during a building partner capacity mission in Lusaka, Zambia, May 29, 2017. A UXO report is used to uppchannel information on UXOs found and to gather instruction on how to safely respond to the situations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

A Zambian Air Force Airman uses a compass during survival training in Lusaka, Zambia, May 30, 2017. Partner nation engagement in air mobility operations helps increase the capacity in humanitarian assistance, regional stability and peacekeeping operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

A Zambian Air Force Airman uses a compass during survival training in Lusaka, Zambia, May 30, 2017. Partner nation engagement in air mobility operations helps increase the capacity in humanitarian assistance, regional stability and peacekeeping operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

Staff Sgt. David Foreman, 305th Operation Support Squadron survival specialist stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., instructs Zambian Air Force Airmen during an 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron building partner capacity mission in Lusaka, Zambia, May 30, 2017. Air mobility can provide partner nations a means of air transportation to access remote regions and deliver resources and personnel to address a wide variety of issues. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

Staff Sgt. David Foreman, 305th Operation Support Squadron survival specialist stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., instructs Zambian Air Force Airmen during an 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron building partner capacity mission in Lusaka, Zambia, May 30, 2017. Air mobility can provide partner nations a means of air transportation to access remote regions and deliver resources and personnel to address a wide variety of issues. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Gustavo Gonzalez/RELEASED)

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. --

Approximately 10 Airmen assigned to the 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron recently returned from a building partner capacity mission to Lusaka, Zambia, May 29 to June 9. The MSAS conducted training for the Zambian Air Force in preparation for the nation’s first humanitarian mission in support of the U.N. to South Sudan This event marks the first deployment in the ZAF's history.

The MSAS train, advise and assist partner nations in developing air mobility systems and processes, enabling nations to physically extend the reach of their governance and rapidly responds to contingencies. Additionally, MSAS helps strengthen international ties and promote interoperability.

For the ZAF, the training consisted of combat survival, night vision, aircrew flight equipment, command and control, airbase security, survival skills, intelligence and medical training. The first part of training consisted of three days of classwork before coming together for a day and testing it out during an exercise designed for hands-on training.

“We are here to assist, train and advise the ZAF on how to deploy as a unit,” said U.S. Air Force Capt. Bree Lanz, 818th MSAS Zambia BPC mission commander. “We are training and building their capacities to ensure a successful deployment.”

According to ZAF Maj. Zacharia Mbewe, UH-1 Huey helicopter pilot, the MSAS training has been invaluable for the ZAF for their historic deployment.

“This is the first time that we are deploying as a unit so we need some experience on what to expect,” Mbewe said. “From what we have learned, it has been priceless. It is necessary because we are going into an area that we really don’t know. We've never really ever done this and anything can happen. We can be attacked and we must be ready for that.”

According to U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Evan Gohring, 818th MSAS command and control air advisor, the interactions with the ZAF Airmen have been an important part of the mission.

“Building partnerships is important because we make a lasting impact on these countries,” Gohring said. “They get the training, but it's not only the training, we’re building these relationships.”

“I think the interaction with the [MSAS] has been very friendly and open,” Mbewe added. “It's been easy to approach [the air advisors] and I think that is very important.”