With projects ranging from convoy security and IED detection to aerial surveillance and Ebola containment, more than 150 PAE employees work in 14 countries to support U.S. Department of State Africa Peacekeeping Program programs. In April, a group of PAE senior leaders traveled across Africa to see that work in action. GMS President Chuck Anderson, Vice President of Business Operations Dan Corbett and AFRICAP Program Manager Ashley Meade visited sites in Somalia, Uganda and Sierra Leone.
“The trip to Africa clearly illuminates the importance of the work PAE is doing in Africa,” Anderson said. “Everywhere you go, you hear positive feedback about PAE, more specifically the quality of the on-site leadership and the technical skills and responsiveness of their employees.”
Since 1995, PAE has provided training, logistics, procurement and construction services to the Department of State through work on AFRICAP. The company has worked in conflict and post-conflict environments throughout 32 African countries for almost 25 years.
In Somalia, Anderson met with Brig. Gen. Mike Kabango, contingent commander of the Uganda People’s Defense Forces for the African Union Mission. PAE’s work for AMISOM includes surveillance and intelligence support, as well as training to lay the foundation for long-term intelligence collection by African Union Forces.
The PAE team made several stops to partner mission sites, , including the African Union Mission base camp, PAE’s regional project management office. The camp is also the post for the U.S Ambassador to Somalia, Donald Yamamoto, who also met with the PAE group.
At the Somalia Ministry of Defense in Gashendiga, PAE provides vehicle maintenance services, as well as operations and facilities maintenance. There they met Maj. Gen. Dahir Adan Elmi, chief of defense forces for the Somalia National Army. They also spent time with the lead of the AMISOM intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance cell at AMISOM headquarters, where PAE provides unmanned aerial surveillance services.
The Somali tour continued to Baledogle, where PAE provides maintenance and mentorship services for the Danab Battalion of the SNA. The facility, a camp with the capacity to house 600 soldiers, was constructed by PAE and opened in April 2018. The group also visited the SNA Logistical Headquarters in Villa Baidoa.
The visit continued to PAE’s Africa Program Management Office in Kampala, Uganda. The APMO staffs operational, logistical, procurement and finance experts for all AFRICAP programs.
The trip concluded with a stop at the Sierra Leone Logistics and Equipment Support Depot in Freetown, which PAE has run for the Department of State since 1998. The depot provides support for regional, African Union, and United Nations through peacekeeping, counter-terrorism efforts and post-conflict logistical needs. It has been critical to strengthening the capacity of African nations to prevent, mitigate, and resolve conflicts on the continent, Meade said. During that visit, the PAE team met with Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Krieger of the Office of Security Cooperation and U.S. Ambassador Maria Brewer.
“It was wonderful to have both Chuck and Dan visit our teams in Somalia, Uganda and Sierra Leone to see the exceptional work that they do on a daily basis to meet program objectives to our client’s satisfaction,” Meade said. “The work we do and the environments we work in are extremely challenging, and our staff makes the difference. It was wonderful to be able to showcase their hard work and dedication to the mission.”
The trip affirmed the top quality of the employees working that contract and their commitment to client, Anderson said.
“I absolutely enjoyed meeting the hard-working and dedicated PAE workforce and supporting companies in Africa,” he said. “There is no doubt we are making a difference.”