Africom planning 2010, 2011 diary

US Africa Command is currently planning its military security assistance programs in for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. An Africom news release says a “capstone” planning event is this week underway in Garmisch, Germany.
The release adds that the 2009 Theatre Security Cooperation Working Group conference brings together nearly 500 officials representing about a dozen U.S. government and international agencies, underscoring the multi-agency approach to developing and conducting security assistance programs in Africa.
“Our number one priority is the delivery of programs that make a difference,” said Africom commander Army General William E. Ward. “To do that, advancing the partnership (and) advancing the coordination with our interagency partners continues to be one of our hallmark requirements.”

Africom – which was initially created two years ago this week – conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of US foreign policy.

In Africa, the Department of State remains the executive agency for US foreign policy matters, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) leads development programs.

Among the senior US officials providing keynote speeches on opening day were Theresa Whalen, deputy assistant secretary of defence for African affairs; Louis Mazel, director of the Department of State Office of African Regional and Security Affairs; Franklin Moore, deputy administrator for USAID’s Africa Bureau; Ambassador Mary Yates, Africom deputy commander for civil-military affairs; and Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, Africom`s deputy commander for military operations.

By week’s end, strategists will have developed a plan of projects and programs designed to build and strengthen security partnerships with African militaries. Those efforts are synchronized with the strategic plans of U.S. embassy country teams to work toward common security objectives.

Representatives from US embassies and missions, defence attaches, and Africa Command’s liaison officers assigned to embassies bring that feedback from their host countries.