African Horizons is an innovative approach to synchronizing Army activities over time to achieve strategic objectives. It links bilateral activities with key influencers to achieve regional effects that build toward continental security in Africa. African Horizons increases the efficacy of US Army Africa (USARAF) as a Theater Army, improves readiness of both US and African Army forces through relevant and demanding training in austere environments, and expands the Global Landpower Network in Africa.
African Horizons communicates the responsibilities, strategic focus, and variety of activities conducted by USARAF across the horizons of Partnerships, Time, and Scale. Each of these horizons communicates both the immediate impact of USARAF activities and how the Army is advancing long-term US interests in Africa. The central idea is that Army activities in Africa are essential to advancing US Africa Command (USAFRICOM) objectives and securing a future most favorable to US interests.
Communicating African Horizons through Partnerships, Time, and Scale allows USARAF to nest with national and USAFRICOM strategic guidance, communicate the breadth and depth of Army activity in Africa, and leverage the visual and emotive connotations of the word "horizon."
Africa has never featured so prominently in a National Security Strategy (NSS). The 2015 NSS articulates US interests relating to Africa in four categories: combating terrorism, supporting democracies, investing in economic growth, and promoting a favorable international order. Taking a largely positive approach, the NSS asserts that, "Africa is rising." This theme echoes in USAFRICOM's Posture Statement and forms the foundation of African Horizons.
African Horizons links bilateral activities with key influencers to achieve regional effects that build toward continental security. African Horizons increases the efficacy of USARAF as a Theater Army, improves readiness of Army forces through relevant and demanding training in austere environments, and expands the Global Landpower Network in Africa.
The Partnership Horizons.
USARAF partners with US, inter-organizational and African partners in an area of operation (AOR) three-and-a-half times the size of the continental United States, with 54 countries and over 2,100 languages. To manage the complexity of the USAFRICOM AOR, USARAF focuses its engagements on three geographic horizons: bilateral, regional, and continental.
In a Bilateral Horizon, USARAF works with capable and willing African partners to develop capabilities tailored to their unique circumstances. US Army forces train units for UN and African Union (AU) missions, execute focused train-and-equip initiatives, support the development of doctrine, and build professional institutions to sustain gains in capability and capacity.
Vignette: As part of the Lake Chad Basin Initiative, Army forces help prevent Boko Haram from destabilizing the region. USARAF partners bilaterally with Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon to develop tailored capabilities based on each country's specific requirements. USARAF coordinates with Department of State (DOS) and US Special Operations Command's (USSOCOM) regional command for Africa (SOCAF) to ensure these tailored bilateral engagements have the required regional impact.
In the Regional Horizon, USARAF coordinates with regional leaders and security organizations to develop complementary and collaborative solutions to shared security challenges. USARAF adapts its bilateral engagements to achieve a regional effect, hosts regional and pan-African summits to foster candid dialogue, and tailors four Joint Exercises annually to train, assess, and adapt regional response capabilities.
Vignette: Shared Accord (SA) 2015 brings together 850 soldiers from 13 African and European armies into a training exercise focused on the UN Mission in the Central Africa Republic (CAR) where many Southern African Development Community (SADC) counties are troop contributing counties. SA15 enabled SADC to build, test, and refine plans to prevent violence in CAR from destabilizing the broader region. These Joint Exercises send powerful signals to potential adversaries, demonstrating the resolve, capability, and collaboration of African armies.
The Continental or International Horizon is where USARAF works to empower active and capable regional organizations to build cooperative, multi-national, land-force partnerships across Africa. USARAF partners with continental influencers to expand their ability to project security across Africa, works with European Allies to develop complementary strategies for shared objectives, and coordinates with inter-organizational partners to support comprehensive approaches.
Vignette: Recognizing shared strategic objectives in Africa, USARAF partners with Spain to train US, Spanish, and African forces for operations across the continent. Combined, Joint training conducted in Spain and on the continent focuses on air-mobility, maneuver in urban terrain, and embassy protection. This training improves capability and interoperability of key strategic partners in Europe and in Africa.
The Time Horizons.
USARAF serves as a trusted and respected partner, enabling Africans to defeat current threats and building professional institutions to set conditions for enduring peace and security in Africa. To do this, USARAF operates across three time horizons: short, mid, long.
Inside of the Short-Term Horizon (2015-2017) USARAF activities focus in supporting AFRICOM's goals on Countering Transnational Threats. US Army forces provide mission command for Joint and international operations, train United Nations (UN) Peacekeepers, provide logistics, and conduct specialized training. These initiatives address immediate threats and provide critical time and space for African partners to develop enduring solutions to shared security challenges.
Vignette: In September, 2014, USARAF provided the core of a Joint Force Headquarters (JF HQ) to support international Ebola response operations in Liberia. Leading Operation United Assistance for 75 days, the joint command of 686 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and civilians were charged with establishing the JF HQ, constructing Ebola Treatment Units, building training sites for healthcare workers, and establishing an Intermediate Staging Base in Senegal. These efforts restored hope to the Liberian people and helped stem the tide of Ebola in West Africa.
Through the Mid-Term Horizon (2017-2020) USARAF supports regional solutions though Joint Exercises, regional and pan-African collaboration, and development of key Troop Contributing Country (TCC) capabilities. This includes developing security solutions focused on sustainment and intelligence; tailoring four annual Joint Exercises that build African Partner's capability to provide mission command for regional peace keeping operations; and laying the foundations for professional military institutions. These initiatives set the conditions for long-term security gains by building capability and capacity for regional solutions.
Vignette: US Army Soldiers train African Peacekeepers in support of the Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI). Over the last three years, the Army has partnered with the DOS African Contingency Operations Training Assistance (ACOTA) to train seven battalions and nearly 6,000 peacekeepers to UN standards for deployment to Mali, CAR, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Somalia. These battalions form a pool of trained and ready forces capable of regional response operations.
The Long-Term Horizon looks at Africa from 2020 and beyond. Here USARAF focuses on the Combatant Commander's (CCDR) decisive effort: Building Partner Capacity to support USAFRICOM multi-agency pursuit of strategic ends. This shifts focus from building tactical capability to developing operational, strategic and institutional capacity necessary to sustain a professional force. This includes the ability to recruit, train, employ, and sustain armies that operate under civil authority, across the Range of Military Operations, with respect for the rule of law.
Vignette: USARAF partnered with Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) to build a Sergeants Major Academy to support a professional non-commissioned officer (NCO) corps in Malawi. Now in its third year, the course has expanded to include NCOs from across the SADC sub-regoion. This initiative is critical to developing a professional military capable of sustaining gains in security over time.
By conducting operations across the scale of the level of war, US Army forces in Africa support the development of military capability across the Range of Military Operations (ROMO) based upon the specific need of African partners. USARAF leverages a dozen State Partnership Programs (SPP), Regionally Aligned Forces (RAF), and Army Generating Forces to build partner capacity across three operational horizons: tactical, operational, and strategic.
In the Tactical Horizon USARAF brings the Army Team to Africa that are forced on building capability, supporting and expanding DOS training for peacekeeping operations, and executing train and equip cases. These efforts provide tailored capabilities for African armies to counter transnational threats, secure the peace, and increase interoperability.
Vignette: In 2014, USARAF conducted 247 events with 33 countries and regional organizations, training 4,500 African soldiers for peacekeeping operations in Somalia, Mali, the CAR, and DRC. These African soldiers reversed the operational momentum of Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Magreb and sustained a fragile peace in central Africa.
On the Operational Horizon the US Army forces plan, execute and assess four Joint Exercises annually, develop capacities of African regional security organizations, and build intelligence, sustainment and mission command capability of key partners. These activities enable African armies to project and sustain forces in support of multi-national operations.
Vignette: USARAF partners with the DRC to build a professional logistics school capable of providing doctrine development and education for both NCOs and officers. To accomplish this five year plan, USARAF relies on the support of TRADOC and the Reserve Component. The DRC program illustrates the long-term, strategic value of building military institutions capable of sustaining a professional army.
Looking out to the Strategic Horizon US Army forces partner with ministries of defense to develop strategic frameworks for employment of forces, build professional military institutions, partner with European Allies to achieve shared strategic objectives, and host regional and pan-African summits to promote strategic collaboration. These activities expand the Global Landpower Network and develop cooperative solutions to shared challenges.
Vignette: USARAF hosts the African Land Forces Summit (ALFS), bringing together chiefs of African armies for candid dialogue to develop cooperative solutions to shared challenges. ALFS shapes the security environment by expanded Global Landpower Network, enhances regional integration, and supports USAFRICOM's decisive effort. In 2015, USARAF initiated regional seminars in conjunction with Joint Exercises to reinforce ALFS' success.
Africa is rising. Politically, economically and demographically, Africa's potential for positive growth is unmatched in the world. Realizing this potential is dependent on African governments' ability to provide security and stability to its people. USARAF works as a trusted and respected partner, over time and across operational levels, enabling African partners to capture the potential now on the horizon. Africa is rising. African Horizons.