IEAFA hosts first in-resident Inter-African Professional Development Seminar

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jordan Lazaro
  • 86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The Inter-European Air Forces Academy hosted the Inter-African Professional Development Seminar composed of 18 students from Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, July 10-21, 2023, at Kapaun Air Station, Germany.

The seminar was designed to develop non-commissioned officers, senior non-commissioned officers, warrant officers and commissioned officers in an environment intended to prepare them for increased leadership roles and responsibilities.

This seminar also recognized differences in education, training and leadership methods for all military personnel serving across U.S. Air Forces Europe – Air Forces Africa, focusing on non-commissioned officers as a key enabler towards building an interoperable military across Europe and Africa.

“We look forward to further developing the leadership skills and relational ties that will directly enhance stability and security across Africa,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Melissa Guldan, IEAFA dean of academics.

The seminar focused on experiential activities to solve physical and mental application-level tasks while learning together, explained Johnna Hayes, Security Cooperation Analyst IEAFA lead associate at Kapaun Air Station. This unique learning format showcases the benefit of the professional officer and enlisted relationship and how it contributes to mission success in USAFE-AFAFRICA.

The class is broken up into two main functions. One is an in-classroom lecture setting to discuss leadership and cultural differences, and the other is applying those skills.

“This course primarily focuses on relationship and leadership skills to build a cohesion between the officer and enlisted core structure,” U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Stephen Davenport, IEAFA director of education, explained. “It has been an honor seeing the camaraderie between the different nations. I hope they remember the skills they learned in this course when dealing with other cultures and nations in the future.”

During the seminar, graduates acquire dynamic leadership skills in problem solving, critical thinking and team building that can be taken back to any military setting, explained Davenport.

“One of the biggest things I learned in this course was understanding people have different personalities that influence how they conduct themselves in the workplace,” said Nigerian Navy Sub-Lieutenant Felicia Ene Odunayo, IAPDS student. “ I also really liked how the instructor gave eye contact modeling how being an active listener can make a difference when working with someone. I hope we are able to bring more people out here to attend this class and I look forward to sharing what I learned with my superiors and subordinates.”

Click here for more information on future seminars, or call (COMM) +49-6371-405-6185 or (DSN) 314-478-6185.