By Capt. Chris Miller, U.S. NavyFebruary 14, 2007
PRAIA, Cape Verde - Military communicators from 22 African and European nations are meeting in Praia, Cape Verde to begin planning for the July Africa Endeavor 2007 workshop scheduled in Ditholo, South Africa.
Sponsored by U.S. European Command, Africa Endeavor 2007 is the premier information sharing and military communications interoperability workshop conducted among more than 30 African and partner nations who collectively develop common military communications standards and procedures to ensure operational relevance on the continent of Africa. The Cape Verde Armed Forces hosted the mid-planning conference which runs Feb. 13-16.
Cape Verde Armed Forces have been making great efforts toward technical capacity-building in personnel and equipment as a result of the role played by command, control, communications and information systems, said Col. Antero Matos, Chief of Staff of the Republic of Cape Verde Armed Forces, during opening ceremonies.
"We believe that AE-07 will bring new results aimed at validating the purpose of Africa Endeavor which consists in assisting the African Union in its task of building a command, control, communications and information systems architecture, fully compatible, and able to support the operational capability of the African Union Standby Force, for the sake of peace and stability in our continent," Matos said.
The African Union has accepted Africa Endeavor as the validator of military communications standards for African nations.
The over-arching Africa Endeavor operational relevance objectives have expanded since its inauguration in 2006. In addition to fostering better collaboration in the Global War on Terrorism and supporting the deployment of peacekeepers, Africa Endeavor will assist in establishing critical communication links to enhance government developments in Command, Control, Communications and Information Systems (C3IS) and strengthen national, regional, continental and partner relationships to ensure peace and stability on the African continent.
"Our work will also help to support the 2010 FIFA World Cup competition in South Africa," said Army Lt. Col. KevinWarthon, from the U.S. European Comand International Interoperability, Concepts and Experimentation Directorate, emphasizing operational relevance. "We will conduct pre-World Cup communications training through Africa Endeavor, establish a baseline for military architecture for the World Cup as well as plan and manage for possible consequences that might occur during the competition."
Warthon laid out an aggressive agenda for the four-day planning conference by challenging the military communicators to begin an expansion of the communications architecture at the workshop by identifying future technologies such as role-based encryption and maritime tracking of military ships.
"In addition to developing common military communications standards and operational procedures, we are building a cadre of informed African communications experts with clearer operational perspectives," Warthon said.
Countries participating in the mid-planning conference include: Algeria, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, The Gambia, Lesotho, Mali, Morocco, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and the United States.
African nations host the planning conferences and the annual workshop. It is the first time Cape Verde has hosted a conference.
The conference is taking place at a special moment in the history of Cape Verde. This year is the final year of Cape Verde's transition to the medium-development country category.
"The level of development reached in the field of socialization and application of new information and communication technologies have enabled Cape Verdeans to grow closer among themselves and closer to the world," Matos said.
The mission of U.S. European Command is to maintain ready forces for full-spectrum operations. EUCOM strives to enhance transatlantic security through support of NATO, and counter terrorism by promoting regional stability within its 92-country area of responsibility.