Citizen Soldiers support U.S. Army Africa
February 13, 2009
- U.S. Army Reserve support of future missions in Africa.
VICENZA, Italy - Top officers from both the U.S Army Reserve and the Army National Guard visited the headquarters of U.S. Army Africa Feb. 11 to discuss the role of citizen Soldiers in future missions to Africa.
Lt. Gen. Jack Stultz, Chief, U.S. Army Reserve and Commanding General, U.S. Army Reserve Command arrived in Vicenza following a visit to Kosovo. Lt. Gen. Clyde Vaughn, Director of the Army National Guard, flew in from Germany.
Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, commander of U.S. Army Africa, invited the senior leaders to Caserma Ederle to see first hand how the Army's Southern European Task Force is transforming to become the Army component to U.S. Africa Command.
"The Army Reserve and National Guard offer very important capabilities - from civil affairs and engineers to medics and military police. They draw from the best people in their respective fields, who often do the same job in their civilian lives," Garrett said. "Their amazing talents and skills are absolutely essential to our success both in Africa and right here at Caserma Ederle."
U.S. Army Africa's plan for an engagement strategy, which calls for partnerships with African nations, reminded Vaughn of a previous assignment at U.S. Army South, he said. U.S. Army Africa will be a "valuable asset to the nation," Vaughn said.
"It's really, really an exciting mission. It will help our nation and help the continent of Africa, Vaughn said. "We're enthused about being be a part of that."
Already, a North Carolina National Guard officer, Capt. Alberto Ceffalo, is representing U.S. Army Africa aboard the USS Nashville, currently underway to several West African nations on a training and goodwill mission - part of the U.S. Navy's Africa Partnership Station.
The National Guard also oversees the State Partnership Program, which links military units from individual U.S. states with foreign military partners for training. The program is designed to foster long-term relationships between the U.S. and foreign nations. Seven such partnerships are in Africa; Utah and Morocco, Wyoming and Tunisia, Vermont and Senegal, North Dakota and Ghana, California and Nigeria, North Carolina and Botswana, New York and South Africa.
The Army Reserve has also lent support to Africa missions, Stultz said.
"We have had Army Reserve Soldiers for some time now in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania," Stutlz said. "They are working civil affairs, engineering and medical support."
Meeting with senior leaders at U.S. Army Africa gave Stultz a better understanding how to support the transitioning command and what Army Reserve capabilities can support future Army missions, Stultz said.
"Reserve Soldiers are already performing a variety of humanitarian and security assistance missions on the continent, and I expect our role will grow as U.S. Army Africa moves to full operational capability."