NEWS | Oct. 19, 2018

Foreign ambassadors visit JB Charleston for 'Experience America' trip

By Airman 1st Class Helena Owens Joint Base Charleston

The U.S. Department of State and the Office of the Chief of Protocol hosted the 23rd Experience America trip October 14-16, 2018. More than 30 ambassadors and their spouses, from countries spanning four continents, visited Joint Base Charleston to learn how service members and civilians from all branches deliver warfighting assets and capabilities around the world in support of Department of Defense priorities. 

Experience America aims to build relationships between the visiting ambassadors and Charleston, open doors for local organizations eager to develop global partnerships and stimulate new investment and trade possibilities. 

“The amount of planning that goes into these trips is tremendous,” said Ambassador Sean P. Lawler, Chief of Protocol of the United States. “We like to go to locations that have a combination of academics, technology, cultures and interesting places the diplomatic corps don’t normally get to see. Joint Base Charleston is one of the largest employers in the area, so we couldn’t not make a stop to see the capabilities and, specifically, what they bring to the international communities.”

The ambassadors arrived at JB Charleston for a mission briefing, a tour of a C-17 Globemaster III, a tour of the Transportation Isolation System and a visit with explosive ordnance disposal Airmen who gave a robot demonstration.  

“It was a great honor to meet with the Experience America ambassadors and show them how Joint Base Charleston fits into the Lowcountry’s diversifying and expanding local economy,” said Capt. Kevin Byrne, Joint Base Charleston deputy commander. “We hope they enjoyed their time on our base as they received a firsthand look at our air, land and sealift capabilities and the men and women who make those missions possible.”

In addition to visiting JB Charleston the ambassadors also got to experience the USS Yorktown, Trident Technical College, Clemson University, College of Charleston, Boeing delivery center and a community reception with Mayor John Tecklenburg, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and other local business leaders. The group left the Lowcountry with a better understanding of the community, joint base and how Charleston plays an important role in international economy and operations.