Posts Tagged 'U.S. Africa Command'

AFRICOM is on Facebook in English, French and Arabic

If you are reading this blog, you already know that U.S. Africa Command is active online. AFRICOM regularly updates its website, blog, Facebook account, Twitter account, Flickr photostream, and YouTube channel. You can read about the Commander’s 2012 Posture Statement and  watch videos of air-drop exercises in Mali.

But did you know much of that information is available in Arabic and French, too?

When you visit the AFRICOM website at http://www.africom.mil, look to the top right corner for Français or Arabic to go to a Facebook page into French or Arabic. You’ll find a deep repository of information about the U.S. Africa Command to share with people who might be unfamiliar.

Both Facebook pages are designed to provide information and also to encourage dialogue.

You’ll find articles about African current events from various media sites such as France24 and Elaph. We are interested in hearing your thoughts and reactions, so feel free to comment on articles we share.

You can find even more information about AFRICOM inside the photo section of both the French and Arabic pages. Look for a photo album called Information Documents to find biographies of AFRICOM’s leadership and the commander’s posture statement.

Please let your friends who speak French and Arabic know about our French and Arabic Facebook pages. Thanks for spreading the word!

Are there other things you’d like to learn about AFRICOM? Are there other languages you’d like to share information about AFRICOM in? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks!

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Let’s say that again, but now in French …

Si vous lisez ce blog, vous savez déjà que le Commandement US pour l’Afrique (AFRICOM) est actif online. Son site Web, son blog, et ses comptes Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, et YouTube sont régulièrement mis à jour. Vous pouvez lire le rapport de positionnement du commandement de l’an 2012 et voir des vidéos des ravitaillements aériens lors des exercices au Mali.

Mais, saviez-vous que la plupart de ces renseignements sont également disponibles en arabe et en français?

Quand vous visitez le site Web de l’AFRICOM at http://www.africom.mil, vous verrez dans le coin haut à droite les mots Français et  عربي. Cliquez sur ces mots pour accéder aux pages Facebook de l’AFRICOM en français ou en arabe.

Vous trouverez une mine d’information sur le commandement que vous pouvez partager avec ceux qui seraient intéressés.

Ces deux pages Facebook sont conçues non seulement pour fournir des renseignements mais aussi pour inciter le dialogue.

Vous trouverez des articles sur l’actualité africaine provenant de différentes sources médiatiques arabophones et francophones. Nous nous intéressons à vos points de vue et à vos réactions aux sujets abordés, alors n’hésitez pas à commenter sur nos affichages.

Vous pouvez trouver d’avantage d’informations sur l’AFRICOM dans la section « photos » des deux pages, en français et en arabe. Rechercher un album photo appelé « Documents d’information » pour trouver les biographies des hauts dirigeants de l’AFRICOM et la déclaration du positionnement opérationnel du commandant.

S’il vous plaît, mettez vos amis qui parlent le français et l’arabe au courant de nos pages Facebook et des sites d’Africom.

Désiriez-vous d’autres renseignements sur l’AFRICOM? Dans quelles autres langues désiriez-vous nos services d’information ? Répondez sur les espaces réservés aux commentaires ci-dessous. Merci!

… and now in Arabic

AFRICOM Facebook page in Arabic


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Results: Your favorite AFRICOM-related photo of March

Thanks to everyone who voted on their favorite AFRICOM-related photo in March. View the five contenders here, which represent a variety of efforts the U.S. is engaged in Africa, including well development, relationship building with our partner nations, theater security cooperation and maritime security operations.

The results are in, and the winner is …

… this well-drilling photo by Master Sgt. Hector Garcia of the U.S. Army 257th Engineer Team in Djibouti

U.S. Army Sgt. Clayburn Johnson (left) and Spc. Michael Knee (right), U.S. Army 257th Engineer Team members, observe the well development process of the second of four newly drilled wells just outside Camp Lemonnier here, March 12. This project allowed the team to evaluate the water tables in the aquifer and make plans for camp expansion. The well development project directly supports Camp Lemonnier’s initiative to identify alternative well locations and assist in development of camp infrastructure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Hector Garcia)

Check out more photos by Master Sgt. Garcia in this photo album from the water drilling tests.

“The wells are part of a study to determine if pulling water from a beach aquifer is a viable option for removing Camp Lemonnier from the Djiboutian Fresh Water Aquifer and leaving that resource solely for the Djiboutians,” said U.S. Army Captain Joseph Bzdok, 257th Engineer Team commander. Read the full story here.

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The runner-up for favorite March photo is …

… this United Nations-Armed Forces of Liberia photo by 1st Lt. Mark Lazan

An Armed Forces of Liberia soldier, right, jumps to receive the tip against his Pakistan opponent during a basketball match between the AFL’s Armed Forces Training Center and their United Nations Mission in Liberia counterparts at Camp Sandee Ware, Liberia, March 21. The game was the final event of a three-day sports festival between the two organizations. The AFL team defeated the UNMIL team 19-17, giving them the overall title. The two organizations also played each other in soccer (won by the AFL) and volleyball (won by the Pakistan-based UNMIL squad). (photo by 1st Lt. Mark Lazan)

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Look for another monthly photographic round-up at the end of April. In the meantime, check out many more AFRICOM-related photos on our Flickr photostream.

All about U.S. Army Africa

While approximately 2,000 people work for U.S. Africa Command, most military-to-military events, operations, and exercises with our African partner nations are executed by “components.” These components set the conditions for success of our security cooperation programs and activities on the continent. They perform detailed planning, provide essential command and control, establish and sustain relationships with our partners, and provide timely assessments. This week, we take a quick look at each of the components that work with U.S. Africa Command:

History U.S. Army Africa was created in 2008 out of the Southern European Task Force, which was formally activated in 1955. Read all about the history here.

Location The SETAF headquarters moved to Caserma Carlo Ederle in Vicenza, Italy, in 1965, where U.S. Army Africa is located today.

USARAF Those who work with U.S. Army Africa often call it by its abbreviation, USARAF — pronounced U-SIR-RAFF.

Staff About 500 personnel work at U.S. Army Africa.

Military-to-military events U.S. Army Africa sponsors events with African partners. One of the most recent involved two soldiers from 1st Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Regiment, out of Fort Sill, Okla. They provided subject matter expert guidance on the artillery training on new M190A5 howitzers for the Moroccan 15th Royal Artillery Group. The artillery tactics exercise was held in the cities of Fes and Guercie, March 4-10, to help provide the Moroccan soldiers with training on the maintenance, safety and firing of the M109A5 system. Read more about the howitzer training.

Atlas Accord This multinational annual exercise was held this year in Mali, bringing together U.S. Army personnel and military members from our African partner nations. The exercise focused on enhancing air drop capabilities and ensuring effective delivery of military resupply materials and humanitarian aid. Learn more in our 10 Things about Atlas Accord blog post.

Leadership  Major General David R. Hogg has served as the commander of U.S. Army Africa since June 10, 2010. He was commissioned as an Armor Officer as a graduate from the United States Military Academy.  Major General Hogg was previously the Deputy Commanding General, Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan. Read more about his bio or watch a video of Major General Hogg talking about the importance of building strong relationships with our African partners.

Interested in learning more? Look through a list of recommended reading in the U.S. Army Africa Reading Room.

Vote for your favorite AFRICOM-related photo of March

Here are a few of our favorite photos from March from around U.S. Africa Command, our components and partner organizations and nations.  (You are also welcome to nominate a photo that’s not listed here, as long as it relates to U.S. Africa Command’s mission and the photo was taken in March.)

Which is your favorite and why?

Tell us your vote in the comments section. We’ll announce the winner next Monday.


USS Simpson performs daily operations

Senegal: USS Simpson performs daily operations

DAKAR, Senegal (Mar. 10, 2012) – Ensign Tom Callahan uses a laser rangefinder while standing junior officer of the deck watch aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) as the ship leaves Dakar after refueling. Simpson is conducting theater security cooperation and maritime security operations in the U.S. Naval Forces Africa area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jeff Troutman/Released)

Watch a slideshow of more photos from USS Simpson.

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Liberia:

An Armed Forces of Liberia soldier, right, jumps to receive the tip against his Pakistan opponent during a basketball match between the AFL’s Armed Forces Training Center and their United Nations Mission in Liberia counterparts at Camp Sandee Ware, Liberia, March 21. The game was the final event of a three-day sports festival between the two organizations. The AFL team defeated the UNMIL team 19-17, giving them the overall title. The two organizations also played each other in soccer (won by the AFL) and volleyball (won by the Pakistan-based UNMIL squad).

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Djibouti:

U.S. Army Sgt. Clayburn Johnson (left) and Spc. Michael Knee (right), U.S. Army 257th Engineer Team members, observe the well development process of the second of four newly drilled wells just outside Camp Lemonnier here, March 12. This project allowed the team to evaluate the water tables in the aquifer and make plans for camp expansion. The well development project directly supports Camp Lemonnier’s initiative to identify alternative well locations and assist in development of camp infrastructure. (U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Hector Garcia)

View the photo album from the water drilling tests.

“The wells are part of a study to determine if pulling water from a beach aquifer is a viable option for removing Camp Lemonnier from the Djiboutian Fresh Water Aquifer and leaving that resource solely for the Djiboutians,” said U.S. Army Captain Joseph Bzdok, 257th Engineer Team commander. Read the full story here.

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Benin: Daily life at the fish market

Staff Sgt. Olufemi Owolabi, U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs, covered the Maritime Safety and Security Conference hosted and facilitated by U.S. AFRICOM and the Africa Center. The seminar brings together nations of West and Central Africa to discuss maritime safety issues, including ways to combat piracy and illicit trafficking. Femi got to visit the fish market during a break. (U.S. Africa Command photo by Staff Sgt. Olufemi Owolabi)

Read a story about the Maritime Safety and Security Conference  gathering of representatives from Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

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Morocco: U.S. Soldiers Observe Training at Moroccan Field Artillery Center

MOROCCO, Mar 26, 2012 — In order to help improve the security of Morocco, 20 members of the 15th Royal Artillery Group purchased approximately 60 armored vehicles called M109A5 howitzers through the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program.

At the request of the Royal Moroccan Field Artillery Training Center, an artillery tactics military-to-military exercise was executed in the cities of Fes and Guercie, March 4-10, 2012 to help provide the Moroccan soldiers with training on the maintenance, safety and firing of the M109A5 system.

Read the story here.

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Africa Snapshot: Benin

Interested in learning more about Africa? Watch for updates in our ongoing series that delivers a quick intro about an African country.

Map of Benin

Africa map highlighting Benin (Source: CIA Factbook)

Today we bring you a snapshot of Benin, where the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) are meeting this week to discuss efforts to improve maritime safety and security in the region.

Where is Benin? Benin is a small country in West Africa – about the size of Pennsylvania. Its coastline is on the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea.

Royal roots: Dahomey, a prominent West African kingdom, once ruled the land that is now southern Benin. The kingdom of Dahomey rose in the 15th century and ruled for centuries. The French took over the territory in the late 19th century. When the colony became independent in the 1960, the area adopted the name Dahomey again as the Republic of Dahomey. The name was later changed to the Republic of Benin.

Leading the way to democracy: In 1991, Benin underwent the first successful transition in Africa from a dictatorship to a democracy. Then-Prime Minister Nicephore Soglo was elected the first president. (Today he’s the mayor of Cotonou, Benin’s largest city.)

Rising youth population: Of the 9 million people in Benin, about 45% are 14 years old or younger.

Religion: Benin is one of the few African countries where the majority of people practice indigenous religions. Voodoo is practiced along the coastal area.

Malaria woes: This mosquito-borne disease is the No. 1 killer in Benin. Read about the government’s combined efforts with UNICEF to help enlist citizens in preventative measures (UK’s Guardian).

U.S. partnerships: Benin works with the U.S. on various exercises and trainings, such as African Partnership Flight(APF). APF is a two-week, military-to-military regional engagement event. Service members from Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Senegal and the United States participated in classroom instruction and hands-on aircraft training recently in Accra, Ghana.

Benin flag

Benin flag (source: CIA Factbook)

Piracy: Attacks by pirates are on the rise in West Africa.  “According to the IMB Annual Report, a total of eight hijackings, ten vessel boardings, and two other piracy attacks were reported near Benin in 2011, compared with no incidents in 2010.” (From One Earth Future Foundation) Since the recent piracy began, ship arrivals at the Port of Cotonou have dropped by 70 percent, according to Benin’s defense minister, Issifou Kogui N’Douro, in an Associated Press article: “UN says piracy off Africa’s west coast is increasing.”

Sources: CIA Factbook, “The Encyclopedia of Africa,” “Africa 2011,” Associated Press, The Guardian, “The Economic Cost of Somali Piracy.

Keep reading the blog for more from Benin and the Maritime Safety and Security Seminar happening there this week.

An artist at AFRICOM

The Monet behind the paintings in the Kelley Barracks coffee shop works just down the street.

Brian D. Perry Sr., the chief of resources, programs, and requirements at AFRICOM J7, directs a paintbrush in his spare time. His bright impressionistic-style paintings of still life and cityscapes hang above coffee tables in the cozy cafe, adjoining an entrance to the Kelley Theater.

Artwork by Brian D. Perry Jr.

Artwork by Brian D. Perry Jr.

He’s a self-taught artist who started dabbling in pastel sticks four years ago, while enrolled at the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.

“I was bored one day, and I just bought some paper and pastels,” he said. He sketched out the reflection of glasses on a café table. “I brought it into class on Monday, and the people said it was really good.”

An interest in art was sparked. He began painting regularly: the view of Boblingen from his bedroom window, colorful flowers in a vase, sailboats.

What to do with all the art? “I needed some place to show it,” he said.

His first gallery of sorts was the hallways of the Swabian Center on Patch Barracks. “I knew I was doing well when someone stole one of the paintings,” he said.

Then he won an MWR art contest, which put his art in the running for the all-Army contest – which he also won.

 

Gregory Holzinger, USAG Stuttgart Family and MWR director, presents Brian D. Perry Sr. with an MWR art award in 2008, as Perry's grandson looks on.

His artwork also made it to the MWR walls and, for a while, decorated the blank walls of the new U.S. Africa Command. To sell his art in the Kelley Barracks coffee shop through the MWR, he he has to give 20 percent of any coffee-shop sale to MWR.

After his art was displayed in the coffee shop, other artists began adding theirs to the make-shift gallery.

Perry sells his artwork for $150 to $300. He estimates he’s sold 60 paintings. He sold 18 to “Executives Suites Stuttgart,” which furnishes luxury apartments for traveling professionals.

Painting of church by Brian D. Perry Sr.

Painting of church by Brian D. Perry Sr.

Over time, Perry has discovered new techniques. With acrylic, the paint will wash off easily. “A lot of the time, I take it into the shower and get a whole different effect. It washes off maybe 80% of the paint. I just keep putting it into the shower until I get it right.”

This method came to him unexpectedly, when he couldn’t quite get the painting of an angel to his liking. After multiple washings, the canvas had become pure frustration, and he was ready to throw it in the trash. His wife, though, thought it could really be something. And, sure enough, he kept at the muted effect, which turned into a finished piece that was later bought. That art collector, Perry said, keeps the subdued angel painting in the centerpiece of his hallway of art, with a dedicated light shining on it.

“There is true inspiration here at AFRICOM,” he said. “I am fortunate to have been able to tap into that.”

Vote for the Best AFRICOM Photo of February

Here are a few of our favorite photos from February. Vote for your favorite here or use the survey in the pop-up window!

USS Simpson arrives in Dakar for refueling

Senegal: USS Simpson arrives in Dakar for refueling

120207-N-IZ292-203: DAKAR, Senegal (Feb. 7, 2012) – Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jonathan Salas heaves a mooring line to a tugboat as the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) arrives in Dakar for refueling. Simpson, homeported out of Mayport, Fla., is currently conducting theater security cooperation and maritime security operations in the Naval Forces Africa area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Felicito Rustique/Released)

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Eleventh Marine Expeditionary Unit trains in Horn of Africa region

Eleventh Marine Expeditionary Unit trains in Horn of Africa region

Lance Cpl. Scott King takes a break during a patrol Jan. 29. The 19-year-old Riding Sun, Md., native operates an M88A2 recovery vehicle with Combat Logistics Battalion 11. The battalion provides logistics and services for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The unit is currently deployed as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, a U.S. Central Command theater reserve force providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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USS Simpson community service project in Lagos

Nigeria: USS Simpson sailors distribute books as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS)

LAGOS, Nigeria (Feb. 16, 2012) – Musician 3rd Class Andrew Francisco, assigned to the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band, plays the saxophone for school children from the Tomaro Junior Secondary School, while books were distributed by Sailors from the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2012. APS is an international security cooperation initiative facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Felicito Rustique/Released)

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Serviccemember reenlists underwater

Off Djibouti: Sailor reenlists underwater

GULF OF TADJOURA, Djibouti (Feb. 12, 2012) – U.S. Navy Lieutenant Scott Pennoyer reads (right) U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Geoff Shepelew, both of the 221st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2, the Oath of Enlistment off the coast of Moucha Island, Djibouti, February 12. Shepelew chose to reenlist underwater while during his deployment to the Horn of Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Joseph A. Araiza)

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Djibouti: U.S. military checks on wells

ALI ADDE, Djibouti (Feb. 9, 2012) – Villagers demonstrate how to draw water from a community well they dug by hand to U.S. Army Sergeant Major Richard Erickson, U.S. Army 257th Engineer Team here, February 9. The 257th Engineer Team, in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, is visiting Ali Adde to conduct analysis of wells drilled by the U.S. military to assess their performance. Site data will help shape future water well-drilling operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Joseph A. Araiza/Released)

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Mali: Atlas Accord 2012

MOPTI, MALI — A Malian Air Force BT-67 drops helicopter boxes as part of aerial re-supply training during operation Atlas Accord near Mopti, Mali on Feb. 13, 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Mark Henderson)

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Which photo is your favorite? Vote here!


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