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CJTF-HOA Briefs Mission to African Military Leaders

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS071214-13
Release Date: 12/14/2007 3:06:00 PM

By Air Force Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Public Affairs

NAIROBI, Kenya (NNS) -- Delegation chiefs participating in the Africa Endeavor (AE) 2008 Initial Planning Conference were briefed here by the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Systems deputy director on the roles and responsibilities of the task force Dec. 6.

With more than 20 African nations in attendance to the conference, CJTF-HOA used the opportunity to explain their mission, which was presented by Cmdr. Bernadette M. Semple, CJTF-HOA Command, Control, Communications and Computers Systems deputy director.

"It's very rare to get the level of leadership of the five regions of the African continent in one room," said Semple. "It was a great opportunity to tell our story of the three D's – defense, diplomacy and development, and the four P's – prevent, promote, protect and prevail. For African nations to hear our story directly is crucial, and by working and finding solutions together, I believe, will be the impetus for preventing future conflicts. One thing we all agree on is that we cannot have stability or economic prosperity without security and peace."

CJTF-HOA is the only United States task force with a physical presence dedicated to promoting peace and stability on the continent of Africa.

There are a number of factors, which preclude Africa from being interoperable, such as proliferation of natural borders, varying telecommunication regulations, high operational and maintenance costs, insufficient bandwidth and poor infrastructure.

Due to the location of the conference and ability to work with Africa Command, CJTF-HOA was able to partner with AFRICOM, Europe Command and the many other organizations involved in AE.

AFRICOM's commitment to the AU is in line with the U.S. government's strategic vision to partner with Africa to make it a more stable, secure and democratic continent.

Nigerian army Brig. Gen. John Sabo Kwabe, Defense Headquarters Electronic Warfare deputy director represented his country, which will host the 2008 exercise.

The Nigerian representative said that the conference has not only been an eye-opening experience, but has taught those involved that while there may be conflicts between nations, better relationships can still be formed through forums like this one.

"Being here we have talked and gotten to know each other on a personal level," said Kwabe. "It's a great endeavor to develop a peaceful relationship with other countries and have a peaceful continent with fellow African brothers.

"This is another forum to cement the countries of Africa," Kwabe said. "Seeing them come together and interact goes a long way to further reduce conflicts in the future."


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