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News | Sept. 23, 2022

AFCENT commander conducts first round of regional partner engagements

By Senior Airman Dominic Tyler Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central)

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Alexus G. Grynkewich, Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) commander, travelled across the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility to meet with multiple U.S. embassy, coalition, regional, and U.S. military leaders Aug. 16 to Sep. 7, 2022.

These key leader engagements included visits with leaders from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as various air bases within the U.S. CENTCOM AOR.

“My objective during these visits is to listen to the concerns of our allies and embassy leaders,” said Grynkewich. “I want to find where the opportunities lie for us [AFCENT] to improve our interoperability and innovate ways for sharing new strategies, technological advancements and tactical information quickly and securely.”

During his first round of engagements in the Middle East, the new AFCENT commander learned first-hand the individual challenges being faced by regional partners.

“We are committed to regional stability, whether that means deterring Iran, countering violent extremist organizations or ensuring that we can compete with our competitors on a global scale,” said Grynkewich. “I couldn’t be more proud to be serving alongside service members from so many different nations as we work together to ensure the safety and security of this critical region.”

Grynkewich also met with U.S. military leaders at the various Air Expeditionary Wings across the AOR including the 332nd AEW in Southwest Asia, the 378th AEW at Prince Sultan Air Base, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the 386th AEW at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait. These visits allowed for the synchronization of priorities and an open discussion to find innovative ways to overcome any barriers facing the AEWs to allow for successful integration with our partners across the AOR.

“We can’t do it alone. Building relationships within our force and with our allies and partners gives us a strategic advantage over our adversaries,” said Grynkewich. “It all comes down to sharing information and having these open discussions. If we can work through challenges together, we can provide a collectively capable presence that ensures continued safety and security within the U.S. CENTCOM area of responsibility.”

Grynkewich continued engagements with partner nations at the U.S. Air Force-hosted International Air Chiefs Conference in Washington, D.C. Sept. 15-17, following his AOR trip. This conference illustrated the Air Force’s ongoing efforts to strengthen relationships with allies and partners through meaningful conversation and information exchange. The IACC was attended by air chiefs from 49 air forces, including air chiefs from Bahrain, Israel, Jordan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.