Military planners for U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), visited several sites in Zambia Sep 18-22, 2023, for the African Land Forces Summit (ALFS) Initial Planning Event. The planning event is part of ongoing preparation for ALFS 24, scheduled for April 2024.
ALFS is a weeklong Chief of Staff of the Army event that hosts leaders from more than forty African countries for training and partnership-building with U.S. Army leaders. Last year ALFS took place in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. ALFS 24 marks the return of ALFS to southern Africa for the first time since 2019 when the event was held in Botswana.
The initial planning event sets the stage for SETAF-AF and Zambian planners to work together to build the event schedule, develop the ALFS 24 theme, and invite experts and leaders to present topics. In the months leading up to ALFS, planners will continue to meet with Zambian officials and businesses to tour potential venues, culturally significant locations, and other facilities to select locations for the training event. Planners gather information such as costs, building capacity, security, and connectivity capability.
International military engagements branch chief for SETAF-AF, Lt. Col. Robert Miller, is the lead planner for ALFS 24. Miller said that the event is the second of four planning meetings in Zambia to prepare for the summit. The first visit, the Pre-deployment Site Survey, took place in June.
"We are excited to have ALFS 24 in Zambia,” said Miller. “We were able to spend some time with our Zambian counterparts at ALFS 23 in Abidjan, and that allowed us to get to know our Zambian partners and start the planning process for ALFS 24.”
“Now that we are here on the ground in Zambia with our host partners, we are getting into the finite detailed planning for ALFS 24,” said Miller. “I know this is going to be a fantastic event.”
ALFS is hosted annually by SETAF-AF to bring together military leaders from the U.S. and Africa to discuss capabilities, build partnerships through face-to-face interaction, and discuss issues the partner forces face on the African continent.