KIGALI - The visiting Commander of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), Lt. Gen. Masire Tebogo, said yesterday he was interested in the operations of the Air Force as the two countries discussed military cooperation.
Masire, who is in the country since Sunday, said this after meeting his Rwandan counterpart, Lt Gen Charles Kayonga.“The main purpose of our visit here is to look at the Rwandan Air Force’s operations of their Russian helicopters and also explore areas of cooperation between our two defence forces,” Masire said.
Gen. Masire is accompanied by four senior BDF officers.
Of particular interest to the visitors is the RDF’s Russian-made Mi-17 multipurpose helicopter designed for improved capabilities at high altitudes and in hot weather conditions.
The Mi-17 was designed and built by the Soviet military specifically for use in their war in Afghanistan. The current re-fitted model is more effective.
Masire said other areas of cooperation such as officer cadet and NCO training are envisaged.
“In the past, we met at various for a, but there was no official interaction, and hopefully after this visit, we will be able to see exchange of training programmes and visits of senior officers, to encourage cooperation.”
Lt. Col. Jill Rutaremara, the Defence and Military Spokesperson, said both parties exchanged views focusing on ways of establishing proper cooperation in the future.
“There are things that we have in common, but each country has its own systems, which they can each learn from,” he added.