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LALMONIRHAT: Bangladesh Air Force and the US Pacific Air Force would work shoulder to shoulder during any crisis in future as the speakers spoke on the concluding ceremony of six-day military exercise titled, ‘Exercise Pacific Angel – 2019’ yesterday.
“We will work shoulder to shoulder in crisis of our two countries,” Air Officer Commanding of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) Base Birsrestho Matiur Rahman Air vice Marshal Muhammad Nazrul Islam said as the chief guest of the programme.
In the closing ceremony, he highlighted the significance of the exercise and thanked all participating members of Bangladesh Air Force, US Pacific Air Force, high officials of local Administration, NGOs and all concerned who made the exercise a success one.
He also emphasized on existing excellent ties between Banladesh and USA and appreciated US Pacific Air Force for whole hearted participation in the exercise. He hoped that the exercise will enhance mutual cooperation between military and civil organisations as well as strengthen friendly relationship between the armed forces of both the countries.
On behalf of US Pacific Air Force, Brigadier General Mark Crosby thanked Bangladesh Air Force and all concerned organizations for their whole hearted co-operation to conduct the exercise. He also hoped that this type of exercise will be conducted regularly in future.
Air Commodore Mohammed Khair Ul Afsar, psc, Director of Air Operation, Deputy Commissioner of Lalmonirhat and other senior officers from BAF and US Pacific Air Force delivered speech in the closing session.
Thanking the BAF and other concerned organisations for their whole hearted cooperation, US Air Force Brigadier General Mark Crosby said, “This exercise would help us to tackle post disaster situation in different environment.”
“It was our pleasure to work here with BAF team, we have learned a lot…it was a great opportunity to gather experience in other country with different weather,” Master Sergeant Daniel Wiseman of US Air Force told BSS.
“The objectives of the exercise were to strengthen the existing friendship between BAF and US Air Force, mutually exchange the expertise in concerned ground, provide humanitarian assistance in limited scale, increase interoperability between Bangladesh and US Air Force and to improve civil military relationship,” said chief coordinator of Bangladesh part of the exercise Group Captain Abbas Ali, GUP, afwc, psc, GD (P).
A total of 130 personnel from Bangladesh Air Force (BAF), 60 from US Air Force under the command of major Kristoffer Glenn Pfalmer along with six doctors from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Nepal participated in the exercise.
In addition a good number of volunteers from UNICEF, Bangladesh Red Crescent, BNCC, Rangpur Medical College and different government and non-government organizations participated in the exercise.
“The exercise dealt with two aspects- health section and engineering section. Under the health section, from June 23-28, treatment was provided for dental, optometry and general diseases including free medicine for patients. Three seminars were also held under health section,” Abbas added.
He further said under engineering section, major renovation works were conducted in five selected schools.
BAF officials said it was a wonderful opportunity for Bangladesh Air Force to work with US Air Force and contribute in nation building activities.
“It was also a means and ways to harmonise and share civil military resource and expertise and experience. The intangible benefit of this exercise is much higher than the tangible benefit.
“Lesson learnt from this exercise in terms of limitation, difficulties, interoperability, resource, expertise sharing and improving civil military relationship will be applied to the subsequent exercise to improve further,” they added.
Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Operations) Air vice Marshal M Abul Bashar and Brigadier General Mark Crosby also planted two saplings on the premises of the Kadamtola High School in Lalmonirhat.
US envoy in Bangladesh Earl Robert Miller visited the exercise on June 24, where he thanked all concerned authorities including BAF for overall help in conducting the exercise.
Miller also visited medical camp organized at Kadamtola High School premises and engineering camp raised at Fokirer Tokeya High School.
This exercise will further strengthen the USAF-BAF relationship as both Air Forces continue to seek engagement opportunities, particularly in areas of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, aviation safety, airlift and aviation maintenance and logistics.