U.S. Army Africa supports Burundi's peacekeeping efforts in Somalia

Tuesday January 19, 2010

What is it?

U.S. Army Africa recently worked with senior Burundian military officers preparing to lead African Union peacekeepers in Somalia. Two U.S. Army colonels joined the discussions at the Ministry of Defense in Bujumbura. One was from the U.S. Army's Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI); the other was an Africa expert from U.S. Army Africa's headquarters. The program is indicative of U.S. Army Africa's efforts to build partnerships in Africa and to provide low-cost, high-impact sustained security engagements on the continent.

What has U.S. Army Africa done?

U.S. Army Africa responded to a Burundian request, prior to their military's next battalion rotation in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). Afterward, U.S. Army Africa contacted PKSOI leaders at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania, who suggested an appropriate partnership event to enhance Burundi's leadership capacity. Senior Burundian officers, to include generals and brigade staff, exchanged views about how U.S. military leaders use the military decision-making process for mission analysis. Mentors focused discussions on leadership functions, tactical operations center tasks and how to employ intelligence in operations.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The U.S. State Department oversees the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program (ACOTA) in Burundi and elsewhere on the continent. U.S. Army Africa events are coordinated through the U.S. Embassy. Army mentors often access established African military education programs to offer expertise to both officers and NCOs. The recent interaction laid groundwork for future peer-to-peer interaction and professional military education in Burundi, to include providing mentors to upcoming ACOTA events.

Why is this important to the Army?

Through peacekeeping and regional cooperation, Burundi demonstrates its dedication to security, stability and peace - for its own people and its neighbors in East Africa. As the Army Service Component Command for U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM), U.S. Army Africa supports U.S. national security objectives by offering assistance to African peace support operations. The command strives to enable the success of its military and non-military partners in the region. This program benefited the core of Burundi's military, building a partner nation's leadership capacity. U.S. Army Africa will continue to develop cooperative relationships and enduring partnerships as it participates in a long-term, comprehensive effort to achieve self-sustaining African security capacity.

Resources:

For more information visit - U.S. Army Africa Web site

U.S. Army Africa Command

Related article:

U.S. Army Africa Command team visit peacekeeping training sites in Rwanda, Burundi

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