FORT BENNING, Ga. – U.S. Army senior leaders, African land forces chiefs and senior enlisted leaders converged at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center, Columbus, Ga., March 21-25, for the African Land Forces Summit (ALFS). The purpose of the conference was to help strengthen partnerships, advance security, stability, and peace in the continent of Africa.
This year, the theme focused on “Resilient Institutions Build Resilient Leaders.” U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. James C. McConville, attended the conference and served as guest of honor. Throughout the week, African land forces leaders from across the continent participated in discussions and field demonstrations concerning this relevant topic.
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Andrew Rohling, commanding general, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa, was on hand to welcome the ALFS participants during the opening ceremony.
“I can tell you from personal experience, there is no better Army installation to showcase resiliency than Fort Benning,” said Rohling. “The United States Army defines resilience as the ability to persevere, adapt, and grow in dynamic or stressful environments.”
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Donahoe, commanding general, U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, and Fort Benning, spoke about building combat readiness and relationships with our worldwide allies and partners.
“We train more international officers and noncommissioned officers on Fort Benning than anywhere else in the Department of Defense,” said Donahoe. “Last year, we had noncommissioned officers and officers from 105 nations come to Fort Benning to train.”
During the ALFS, senior African land forces leaders focused on the role of the noncommissioned officer (NCO). They observed how NCO’s train the force and gained an overview of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, learning how resiliency in the U.S. Army begins at the most junior level and the importance of the NCO corps in that training.
In addition, ALFS leaders observed Soldiers training at U.S. Army Airborne School, watched the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit capability demonstration, and observed the Rangers in Action demonstration.
The Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning delivers trained and combat-ready Soldiers and leaders while developing and integrating the doctrine and capabilities of the maneuver force.