On 3 November, a delegation of three Air Force Officers from the Tanzania Peoples’ Defence Forces (TPDF), headed by Colonel R K Kapinga, arrived in the Seychelles for an official two day visit to the Seychelles Air Force (SAF). The purpose of the visit was to explore the air surveillance capability of the SAF that has been developed in the past year in close cooperation with EUCAP Nestor.
The official visit started on 4 November when Colonel Kapinga and his delegation met with the Chief of Seychelles Peoples’ Defence Forces (SPDF) Brigadier-General Payet at the SPDF Headquarters. Colonel Kapinga expressed his appreciation for this cooperative and collegiate approach which will greatly assist the future Tanzanian Air Surveillance Capabilities.
“We do not yet have any air surveillance capability like this in Tanzania, hence the importance to come here to the Seychelles and see the capability of the surveillance systems and learn from the experience gained within SAF in terms of air surveillance operations, technical systems and the training of personnel to become professional in Air Surveillance operations. Air Surveillance will not only help us for maritime purposes but also to assist in border monitoring and to support combatting poaching of wildlife. It will allow us to make recommendations for implementing air surveillance capabilities in Tanzania.” said Colonel R K Kapinga.
The delegation has followed a comprehensive programme with SAF initially receiving various briefings on air surveillance operations, technical systems, training courses and experience gained during operations conducted by SAF. Among others: air patrolling, counter-piracy, search and rescue, medical evacuation and VIP transport as tasked by various national agencies.
The visiting officers also participated in an “operational” flight to see first-hand the capability of the surveillance systems and processes linking the air-patrolling with mission preparation, in-flight reporting, mission debriefing, reporting and analysis of information and imagery by the SAF imagery and intelligence section.
“I am glad to welcome our colleagues from Tanzania here. It is the very first time that we are exchanging on this subject and I am glad to share the experience we gained over the years with regard to air operations with them. They will take valuable information and key knowledge back home. I hope that we will have many more occasions in the future to exchange and that we can further support them in establishing air operations” said Capt. R. Zarine, adjutant at SAF.
“This is the first time that two countries within the mandated area of EUCAP Nestor engage in knowledge-sharing on development of air surveillance capabilities and I am proud to say that it is done on the initiative of EUCAP Nestor” said Bo Holtse, EUCAP Nestor’s Head of Country Office in the Seychelles. “The enthusiasm by both Air Forces is proving just how vital it is to form regional links, to share information and experiences by regional counterparts. This visit reflects the regional engagement of EUCAP Nestor. Assisting the sustainable development of capabilities and facilitating of the transfer of knowledge between countries of the region is in the core of its mandate.
This Furthermore demonstrates the professionalism and commitment by SAF developing this capability to a high standard and willingness to share such knowledge and experience with their Tanzanian counterparts” said Bo Holtse, EUCAP Nestor’s Head of Country Office in the Seychelles.
EUCAP Nestor is a civilian EU mission under the Common Security and Defence Policy which assists host countries in the Horn of Africa and Western Indian Ocean region (Somalia, Somaliland, Djibouti, Seychelles, Tanzania) in strengthening their capacity to ensure maritime security and in particular to fight piracy.