By Staff Sgt. Jason Thompson (13th ESC)September 24, 2009
Members of the Third Army/U.S. Army Central Public Affairs Office (Third Army PAO) hosted their public affairs counterparts from the Kenyan Army during an exchange between the partner nations Sept. 14 through 17 in Washington, D.C.
During the exchange, Kenyan officials visited numerous portions of the U.S. Army's public affairs operations including the Defense Information School and the Army Public Affairs Center at Fort George G. Meade, Md., as well as the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs at the Pentagon and the Defense Media Activity center in Washington, D.C.
This was the final of three planned exchanges between Kenyan and Third Army PAO personnel focusing on growing and developing the Kenyan military's public affairs assets.
"We have grown to understand the importance of winning the hearts and minds of the people in Kenya," said Bogita Ongeri, spokesman for Kenya's Ministry of State for Defense. "This trip has helped us to understand what we need in order to succeed in our mission and establish public affairs in Kenya. Seeing how the U.S. Army runs its public affairs provided great assistance for us to disseminate our information and to tell the story of the Kenya Army."
Maj. Amanda Azubuike, media relations officer with Third Army PAO, said the cooperation with the Kenyan Army has been a strong growing experience for both Third Army and its partner nation in working toward a sustainable future.
"Exchanges like this are important to share information and to improve interoperability between our partner nations," said Azubuike. "It is mutually important to share information in both directions. We can both learn from each other and help to shape the future."
Ongeri spoke about his appreciation and gratitude for the assistance provided in helping to grow the operational capability of the Kenyan Army's public affairs.
"We greatly appreciate everything Third Army has done to assist us," he said. "The cooperation was excellent and everyone learned a lot. We also want to thank the people at DINFOS, the Pentagon, (The Defense) Media Activity and APAC for taking the time and talking to us about the different programs used in the American Army."
"We look forward to future visits and other opportunities to work with the American Soldiers. We hold your entire military in the uppermost dignity."