By Capt. James SheehanDecember 12, 2017
ABUJA, Nigeria -- Nigerian Army and U.S. Army soldiers joined forces here to plan the upcoming African Land Forces Summit, Dec. 3-8.
Scheduled for April 2018, ALFS is a weeklong seminar bringing together land force chiefs from across Africa for candid dialog to discuss and develop cooperative solutions and improve transregional security and stability.
This planning event is the second of three for the 15-person U.S. Army Africa team.
"The main planning event is where the bulk of the planning takes place. The first one is mostly an introduction and the third is more of a final review," said U.S. Army Africa's ALFS lead planner, Lt. Col. Hector Montemayor.
The bi-lateral team broke off into specialized committees including security, communications, protocol, contracting, senior enlisted advisor, medical, logistics and public affairs.
"It is critical we inform the people about the summit," said Brig. Gen. Ali-Keffi, Nigerian Army's director of training and lead planner for ALFS 2018 to the lead Nigerian and U.S. public affairs planners.
"We don't want people to speculate why there is a show of force and military convoys rolling around the city. We will use radio, newspaper and social media. People need to know a positive event is happening in their city," Ali-Keffi said.
The four-day conference will be packed with plenary sessions, regional break-out discussions, opening and closing ceremonies, Nigerian and U.S. banquets, a cultural day and a military demonstration showcasing some of the Nigerian Army's more captivating tactical skills.
The committees partnered up and traveled across the city to inspect and identify the security posture and capabilities of airports, hospitals, military bases and conference centers. They documented route conditions and travel times for reference in case of emergency.
The planning event, dubbed the 'ALFS Main Planning Event,' concluded with a thorough brief from each committee on accomplishments and outstanding requirements to both country's lead planners.
"Let me thank the American team. We are very keen to ensure this thing succeeds. Our Chief of Staff of the Army is passionate and wants to see this succeed," Ali-Keffi said. "Here in Africa, we welcome our guests. It is not unusual to give up your room for your guest. The U.S. is our honored guest. Nothing will be spared."
The ALFS planning team will join forces one more time next year before the summit in April 2018.