VICENZA, Italy - U.S. Army Africa senior noncommissioned officer, Command Sgt. Maj. Hu Rhodes, and a delegation conducted an NCO Senior Leader Visit in the Republic of South Africa to meet with the country's Land Forces Senior Chief Warrant Officer Mothusi Victor Kgaladi and South African Army Staff recently.

Soldiers gathered together to enhance senior NCO relationships between active and reserve Senior Chief Warrant Officers and included tours of the armor, airborne and artillery regiments.

"Since I am just starting my tenure as the USARAF CSM, this was the perfect time to put a personal side to a professional relationship," Rhodes said.

He said no amount of reading or study - or second-hand explanation - can replace meeting someone in person.

"We had opportunity to share serious concerns as well as share in laughter during the visit," Rhodes said. "They know we care about our relationship with them, and we know they care about their relationship with us."

Rhodes walked away with many valuable insights, in particular knowing the commands will work together better because of this visit.

"I appreciate good Soldiers, and these were good Soldiers - from bottom to top. They have a solid professional base and an obvious love of country that inspired me. I look forward to our continued friendship," he said.