U.S. Military, Partner Forces Attending African ‘Land Forces Colloquium’

Officials from 11 African States and U.S military personnel are attending the African Land Forces Colloquium in Germany.

U.S. military personnel and officials from several African countries including Nigeria and partner nations are attending a four-day African Land Forces Colloquium at the 7th Army Training Center headquarters in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

According to the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa, the summit which opened on Sept 20. with the theme “U.S. Army, Europe, Africa Training, from Tactical to Operational” is designed to address key issues in the U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Europe and Africa area of responsibility.

The summit involving senior officers from Morocco, Tunisia, Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, Djibouti, Botswana, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, and Ghana,  will include inspection of capabilities of the 7th Army Training Command, Grafenwoehr Training Area, the Joint Multinational Readiness Centre, and the Joint Multinational Simulation Centre located in Grafenwoehr and Hohenfels in Germany.

Stars and Stripes, a daily American military newspaper on September 22, reported that senior military leaders from 11 African countries participating in the event focused on finding novel ways of conducting joint exercises with U.S. forces.

Maj. Gen. Andrew Rohling, the U.S. Army Southern European Task Force-Africa commander and the U.S. Army Europe and Africa Deputy Commanding General for Africa was quoted by the newspaper to have said that “to me this isn’t about new equipment.”

Rohling added that “I’m not looking for anyone to buy a piece of equipment, I want them to invest in the training range and infrastructure at the institutional level that then drives training at the unit level.”

According to Stars and Stripes, as part of the training, attendees observed an exercise by the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade using  Apache attack helicopters.

Battalion fire support officer for the 1-3 Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Lt. Lisabeth Quinn, highlighted that “soldiers also can integrate unmanned aerial systems or vehicles, and joint terminal attack controllers with the Apaches when available.”

On Tuesday, Maj. Gen. Thomas Oppong-Peprah, Ghana’s chief of army staff, was quoted as saying “So far what I have seen today specifically, there are facilities and opportunities for us to train our personnel either [by bringing] them over here to Grafenwoehr, or they come to Ghana.”


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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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