NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 20 – The US-Africa Command has designed a low, to no-cost initiative to minimise Africans needing to travel to Europe or the United States to get professional military education.
The African Enlisted Development Strategy was announced at the US Africa Command which is based in Germany during a conference attended by senior enlisted leaders from 25 African partner nations and the United States.
As part of the strategy, AFRICOM will utilise several efforts such as mobile training teams and the Department of Defence State Partnership Program to help enhance African professional military education institutions.
Chief Master Sergeant Ramon Colon-Lopez, Command Senior Enlisted Leader, and US Africa Command said developing professional military non-commissioned officer corps is vital to a military’s success.
“From our standpoint in the United States, we can bring all sorts of great ideas to the table, but many of them may not make sense to the Africans,” he said.
“When an African speaks from their experience, it resonates a lot more and it’s extremely powerful.”
AFRICIOM has been a critical partner within the continent more so in the war against terrorism in East and West Africa.
On his part, Sergeant Major of the US Army Daniel Dailey said developing a professional military non-commissioned officer corps is vital to a military’s success.
“Building professionalism isn’t something that has to be achieved, it’s something that has to be maintained,” he said.
“It’s critically important for our partners to understand that a professional enlisted force equals a professional military force which equals support by the people and maintains peace and stability.”
The strategy focuses on four priority countries per year.
In fiscal year 2019, Botswana, Ghana, Liberia, and Malawi are the focus countries.
“The reason we chose those countries is because, not only have they progressed faster than many other African militaries, but they also have stability in their government and trust and empowerment from their senior officers as non-commissioned officers (NCOs) to carry on their mission,” Colon-Lopez said.
“As we’re looking at the models of what we want to project forward for the future of this plan, those four countries made the most sense.”