By U.S. ArmyMarch 5, 2009
U.S. Army in Africa - NCOs Leading the Way
What is it'
U.S. Army Noncommissioned Officers in Africa lead by example, carrying out some of our nation's most important missions on the continent.
NCOs from U.S. Army Africa, the Army's newest component command, and Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, partner with African militaries, our U.S. Africa Command teammates, other U.S. government agencies and international organizations. In several African nations, Army NCOs help develop professional NCO capacity - in line with U.S. Africa Command's engagement focus on helping transform African forces into contributors to peace, capable of accomplishing missions that support legitimate authority.
What has U.S. Army in Africa done'
Army NCOs currently lead several missions in African nations. In the Horn of Africa, senior NCOs from the Fort Sill-based 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery Regiment, mentor African NCOs to become better instructors during "train the trainer" familiarization sessions. They also offer guidance at an NCO academy, focusing on leadership development for both junior and senior noncommissioned officers. Army NCOs also offer lessons to African soldiers on counterterrorism and disaster relief operations. The vast majority of NCOs currently working in Africa are veterans of overseas deployments - experts in everything from personnel and operations to logistics and civil affairs. Now they offer operational skills and leadership experience to African counterparts with emerging militaries.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future'
The U.S. Army in Africa will continue to deploy NCOs from the Army Reserve, National Guard and the active component who apply skills and experience in partnership missions. In doing so, NCOs will help U.S. Africa Command "grow" - a command focus designed to lay foundations for future success. In the coming months, Army NCOs will sustain mentorship operations in Liberia, conduct military-to-military training in Botswana, Kenya and Tunisia, offer civil and medical assistance in Swaziland and undertake a multinational disaster training exercise in Uganda.
Why is this important to the Army'
African militaries traditionally rely upon officers to train and lead soldiers. At times, African leaders are surprised to see our NCOs out front, planning and leading Army missions. Through close contact with U.S. Army NCOs, African soldiers learn from a professional corps with a proud tradition dedicated to taking care of troops and accomplishing missions. Stability in Africa is key to U.S. global interests. Exposure to the U.S. Army NCO Corps will help our African partners as they build military infrastructure to better their security.
U.S. Army Africa Web site
U.S. Africa Command Web site