By Capt. James SheehanDecember 6, 2017
VICENZA, Italy - U.S. Army Africa's acting commanding general visited Nigeria to engage with senior land force's chiefs and offer war college students academic insight in Abuja, Nov. 30.
Brigadier General Eugene LeBoeuf met with U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria Stu Symington and Nigeria's Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. T.Y. Buratai to discuss counter terrorism operations and the upcoming African Land Forces Summit.
"ALFS further confirms that the U.S. has all the confidence in the Nigerian army. It is a very important summit for us, and we will do everything to make it successful," Buratai said.
The African Land Forces Summit is an annual, four-day conference scheduled to take place in Abuja in spring 2018. The summit will host African land forces chiefs from across the continent to discuss and develop solutions for regional threats, challenges, and drivers of instability, including violent extremist organizations.
LeBoeuf's visit also included a meeting with Nigeria Army War College Commandant Maj. Gen. A.G. Okunlola. The NAWC was inaugurated in June, and the first class will graduate in December. LeBoeuf spoke to the class about challenges and opportunities in Africa and Nigeria, USARAF's role, and how the U.S. Army War College has trained strategic leaders for more than 110 years.
"Our Army War College evolved to educate and develop accomplished officers and civilians for service at the strategic level to produce skilled critical thinkers and complex problem solvers in the global application of land power," LeBoeuf said.
Major General Okunlola recently visited the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. The NAWC cadre has traveled to the U.S., Bangladesh and the United Kingdom. to fuse and adapt the best curriculum. In September, staff from the U.S. Army War College visited NAWC to give council on parts of the curriculum, including operational design and theater-level campaign planning.
The NAWC's vision is to bridge the gap between operational and strategic level commanders. The college will train senior officers how to think and lead armies from on-the-ground tactics to global, big picture efforts.
"This will become the institution from which your army evaluates the complex challenges facing your nation, strives to understand the external and internal forces perpetuating those challenges, and crafts possible solutions for meeting those challenges," LeBoeuf said. "It should also provide an opportunity to learn about other government institutions and how to work together effectively."
USARAF's objective to support Nigeria's peacekeeping operation's mission and help bring peace and prosperity to the continent is a long-term effort. LeBoeuf made it clear to the NAWC class that USARAF is ready to provide support to the world's seventh most populated country and Africa's largest economy.
"USARAF remains available and willing to support emerging requests from the Nigerian army and college leadership. We are proud to be your partner, and we look forward to continuing to support the Nigerian army in this endeavor."