Bond of Brotherhood: Firefighter Training Crosses Cultures

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Water jets from the turret atop a fire truck, belonging to the Camp Lemonnier Fire Department, during an aircraft fire training exercise, August 27. The top turret is used to douse the fire from above, allowing firefighters to move in and smother the flames from below. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Water jets from the turret atop a fire truck, belonging to the Camp Lemonnier Fire Department, during an aircraft fire training exercise, August 27. The top turret is used to douse the fire from above, allowing firefighters to move in and smother the flames from below. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighter, drags a 1  Â inch attack line hose during an aircraft fire training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighter, drags a 1 Â inch attack line hose during an aircraft fire training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters cut the water flow after spraying down a mock aircraft with Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF)  foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters cut the water flow after spraying down a mock aircraft with Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters sprays down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters sprays down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighter sprays down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighter sprays down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters spray down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters finish spraying down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Alfonso Bravo (left) and Siyaad Cheik, Camp Lemonnier Fire Department firefighters finish spraying down a mock aircraft with AFFF foam concentrate during a training scenario, August 27. The Fire Department conducts routine training exercises to maintain skill proficiency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Water and foam flow from a fire hose after an aircraft fire training exercise, August 27. The fire department uses Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) foam concentrate to smother fires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Water and foam flow from a fire hose after an aircraft fire training exercise, August 27. The fire department uses Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) foam concentrate to smother fires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)
CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Water drips from a fire hose after an aircraft fire training exercise, August 27. The fire department uses Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) foam concentrate and water to smother fires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton) CJTF-HOA Photo CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (August 27, 2011) - Water drips from a fire hose after an aircraft fire training exercise, August 27. The fire department uses Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFF) foam concentrate and water to smother fires. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Jarad A. Denton)

As a pair of Nomex-gloved hands reached forward and pulled a pressurized lever, the normally dusty landscape of Camp Lemonnier was transformed into something resembling a winter wonderland during a recent training event.

The gloves belonged to Siyaad Cheik, one of three Djiboutian nationals employed as a firefighter on Camp Lemonnier and certified by the Department of Defense.

"Working for the fire department has made my life very interesting," Cheik said. "It's the best job in the world. Every day I learn something new and further my education and skill level."

Cheik joined Alfonso Bravo, another Camp Lemonnier firefighter who hails from Ecuador, in an aircraft fire training scenario. Both firefighters were required to extinguish a simulated fire, using Aqueous Film Forming Foams, or AFFF, to douse the lower portion of a training aircraft - while a nearby fire truck blanketed the craft and firefighters with streams of water.

"The AFFF foam is really the best agent for extinguishing a fuel fire," said Fire Chief Jimmy Redpath, Camp Lemonnier assistant fire chief. "We train our guys to aim low when using the foam, because it will smother the fire."

Redpath said he is exceptionally proud of the dedication Bravo, Cheik and the other Camp Lemonnier firefighters have shown. The unit has embraced cultural differences and come together as a cohesive, life-saving team.

"We share a common bond as firefighters," said Chief Redpath. "We work hard and train hard. It's important to maintain our skill proficiency, especially given the life-saving capacity we operate in."

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