OSI 'in right place at right time' saves lives

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • AFOSI Public Affairs

On July 15, 2019, a group of Burkinabe military forces were attacked with small and heavy arms fire by approximately 20 suspected violent extremist organizations, approximately 165 miles southeast of Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. 

Burkinabe forces engaged the enemy, resulting in seven enemy killed, four Burkinabe killed and six Burkinabe medically evacuated to Burkinabe Air Base 511. 

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations Expeditionary Detachment 2502 team from the 25th Expeditionary Field Investigations Squadron, Ramstein Air Base, Germany, coordinated with Burkinabe security forces to expedite U.S. access to Air Base 511, enabling medical personnel to create a casualty collection point. 

They also coordinated with Burkinabe medical personnel to pre-stage ambulances for transport. Once the medical evacuation arrived, three OSI Special Agents assisted with offloading patients, providing emergency treatment/care of the critically wounded and transporting patients off the MEDEVAC into Burkinabe control. 

Later, the team learned they were the first to notify their Burkinabe partners at AB 511 of the inbound MEDEVAC mission, ensuring care was ready and waiting for OSI’s wounded partners.

“Sometimes the stars align, putting the right people in the right place at the right time to do good things. That is certainly the case in Burkina Faso,” said Brig. Gen. Terry L. Bullard, AFOSI Commander. “The Burkinabe could not have asked for a better team coordinating efforts on the ground in Ouagadougou. There is no doubt in my mind their efforts clearly saved lives.”  

This puts the OSI Strategic Plan’s efforts into focus for the Command. These efforts will  strengthen OSI’s partnership with the Burkinabe military and OSI’s other African allies.

“I thank our special agents for demonstrating the extraordinary things OSI can do for our allies and partners,” General Bullard said. “I am extremely proud of their initiative and dedication to the mission and to their fellow man. The friendship born in times of true need are often the longest lasting and most sincere. OSI is shining yet again because of our people.”

(Editor’s Note:  EDET 2502 supports Joint Special Operations Air Component – Africa, Forward Air Detachment-Burkina Faso.