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Trilateral Aviation FireFighting Aircraft Familiarization

11 January 2024

From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Christopher Thomas

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (January 3, 2024) - Members of Camp Lemonnier Fire and Emergency Services Department trained with Djiboutian and French fire departments during an aircraft familiarization event at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Jan. 3, 2024.
During the event, firefighters familiarized themselves with MV-22B Osprey and C-130 Hercules airframes to learn about their unique factors related to aviation firefighting.

Camp Lemonnier provides 24/7 airfield operations as part of its world-class support for service members, U.S. assets and its 38 tenant commands. Deployed squadrons from the Air Force and Marine Corps use Camp Lemonnier’s airfield to perform a variety of missions in the region including transportation of military personnel and supplies throughout the Horn of Africa.

Because of its strategic location, Djibouti is home to several military bases. The United States shares the airfield with Djibouti and the French military.

"It is important for our partner nations to be familiar with the specifics of our airframes in the event of an emergency because we share a flight line," said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Christopher Morales, VMM-261(REIN) assistant operations officer. "Any one of our fire departments could be the first to respond to a mishap, so our partners must be aware of the particulars.”

The aircraft walkthroughs enabled firefighters from the three nations to work across language barriers to enhance their collective capabilities.

"It is something that we benefit from to maintain crisis response readiness.," said Djiboutian Fire Chief Abayazid Mohamed. 

The aviation walkthrough was the third trilateral training event between U.S., French and Djiboutian first responders. Familiarization events and exercises enable effective joint response by streamlining coordination between international first response organizations.

“The International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) provides standards and guidance for internal airports, and recommends that emergency response assists at civil-military airfields like ours coordinate their efforts,” said Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin Price, Camp Lemonnier emergency management officer. “Camp Lemonnier has a history of interaction with our Djiboutian hosts during incident response. We look forward to further developing that relationship for joint emergency preparedness.”

Camp Lemonnier is an operational installation that enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to be where they are needed to ensure security and protect U.S. interests. The installation provides world-class support for service members, transient U.S. assets and 38 local tenant commands.

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