Brigadier General Robert Ferrell, U.S. Africa Command C4S director wrote
Getting the Africa Union (AU) to participate in Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 is very huge. The AU is focused on the African Standby Force. Their initial hesitation of their involvement in AE was that they viewed AE as just a military to military communication exercise. The African Standby Force consists of three elements: the military, the police, and the inter-government agencies.
When the AU looked at AE, they only viewed one portion of their requirement being met. We asked them to partake in the planning process to allow them the ability to see what AE would bring to the AU headquarters. At the final planning conference held in Rwanda, the AU came and provided an overview of their organizational mission and functions of the AU headquarters, as well as provided a scenario for AE to consider incorporating in the exercise.
The scenario that they offered was a humanitarian disaster relief scenario for this exercise. It was agreed upon to incorporate the scenario by all of the delegation chiefs involved in AE. The second requirement for the AU to become involved was to provide a communication link from the AE training site to the AU headquarters, which has never been done before.
Another positive of AE 2010 is the increase in African country involvement. We have representation from all five regions participating in this exercise, which is a first. More than 36 nations are participating in AE 2010, an increase of ten nations from last year.
The participating African nations have strengthened our relationship with the AU headquarters and among the partners. I am very pleased to see how they were pleased with AE and how it can contribute to their overall training plan. They are going to have a 3-year training plan, so they are finally starting to see the value in AE and what it can do. They are overly happy with what progress has been made with African Endeavor in 2010 and they want to incorporate it in other training. The AU will be taking the training into AU training exercises for the African Standby Force, which focuses on all three aspects of their training.
I am happy about the long-term friendship that our African partners have developed through this effort with them plus the United States. It has been a huge success of developing long-term friendships, partnerships, relationships, through all of the training. I am overly pleased from a technical design implementation and execution of what we have accomplished here.
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