Road to Africa begins in Italy for NY Army National Guard

By Master Sgt. Corine Lombardo, 369th Sustainment Brigade Public AffairsMay 22, 2013

Road to Africa begins in Italy for NY Army National Guard
New York Army National Guard Col. Reginald Sanders (left) commander of the 369th Sustainment Brigade, joins Dr. Jeannot Essono Engueng (center) from Military Forces of Central Africa, and Col.
Frederick Ndjonkep, a member of the Military Operations C... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army)

To prepare for participation for Exercise Central Accord 14,

369th Sustainment Brigade Commander Col. Reginald Sanders from New York Army National Guard traveled to Vicenza, Italy recently to share lessons learned from their participation in last year's Central Accord (CA13) in Cameroon.

Sanders and four of his key leaders joined 11 officers from eight partner nations and organizations to share lessons learned from CA13 at a conference conducted by U.S. Army Africa (USARAF)

"This is an opportunity to look at what we accomplished earlier this year and improve on the processes we used," said Jerry Madden, USARAF planning officer for Central Accord 14.

Sanders said Central Accord 14 will build on the the experience the brigade gained during Atlas Accord 12 in Mali and CA 13 in Cameroon; i.e., specialized skills shared in areas of command and control; logistics movement, medical evacuation; and strengthen international partnerships.

Their proven ability to move, supply and maintain troops in austere regions around the world brings unique qualifications and expertise in sustainment operations to the USARAF team in Central Africa. Our focus as we move into the exercise is learning our partner nations' culture and processes and how these impact how they conduct operations," Sanders explained. "This knowledge allows us to quickly form effective teams and increase working relations with our nation partners," he said.

During CA 14, 369th Sustainment Bde. plans to send 70 Soldiers to Cameroon to train alongside African military forces and partner nations' to receive, stage, move and supply approximately 1,000 military personnel from several countries scheduled to train during the three-week exercise.

Countries participating in the workshop included Cameroon, Congo, Chad, Gabon, Nigeria, Burundi and Brazil. USARAF will use this as an opportunity to share expertise and experience of all participating forces from all levels.

"It's important to begin the planning process early to identify how each nation operates in the areas of logistics, communications and operational command and control at both the tactical and strategic levels," Madden said. "Because each country's military works differently, identifying these aspects early will help bridge gaps between all partner nations and address these issues prior to the exercise," he added.

This is yet another milestone for the 369th Sustainment Bde. Headquartered in Harlem, New York, the brigade traces its history back to the 369th Infantry Regiment, an African-American unit that fought in World War I. The regiment earned more French Croix de Guerre medals than any other American unit and became known as the "Harlem Hellfighters."

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