By LTC Eugenia GuilmartinApril 18, 2014
On 14 April 2014, at the request of AFRICOM and OSD Office of African Affairs, MG Quantock hosted a senior Detainee Operations Conference for MG Pat Akem, the Nigerian Provost Marshal General, and his MP Commandant, LTC Eberulu.
Leaders from the Office of the Provost Marshal General Staff, Army Corrections Command and CID's Criminal Investigation Task Force moderated discussions on the role of detainee operations in a counterterrorism/counterinsurgency strategy; humane care, custody and control; population management and countering extremist radicalization and recruitment in the facility; transparency and accountability; and supporting Rule of Law through building packets for prosecution in civilian courts.
"Guarding is the easy part," said MG Quantock. He emphasized that "the hard part" is for facility commanders to incorporate all enablers such as medical, legal, intelligence, and logistics as well as work with the International Committee of the Red Cross and multinational partners. He also shared with his Nigerian counterpart the value of 31E Military Occupational Specialty Soldiers (Internment/Resettlement Specialists) who hone their skills during peacetime while conducting military corrections.
The Fort Benning CID Battalion Commander, LTC Sly Wegwu, assisted with hosting to highlight Nigerian-Americans in the force. Subject matter experts from the Army Staff and subordinate organizations -- including leaders from the Office of the Judge Advocate General, G2 (Intelligence), and MEDCOM -- moderated discussions on international standards for detainee operations, effective and lawful interrogation operations, and detainee medical care. In light of recent attacks, bombings, kidnappings, and jailbreaks in Nigeria, the conference was a timely initiative to build relations with the Nigerian Army and assist stability efforts on the continent.
MG Akem said that the day was "incredibly beneficial" and thanked all of the conference participants for their candor in sharing lessons learned and their willingness to assist Nigeria
MG Akem will next travel to the US Army Military Police School and end his visit with an engagement at the US Army Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.