The US goal with the annual Africa Endeavor is to become thoroughly embedded into African communication systems, making monitoring, spying or information/disinformation campaigns far easier for the US.

Africa Endeavor has been underway in Ghana this week and is just concluding.

ACCRA, Ghana - Ghanaian Brigadier General Joseph Searyho, Defence Communications Information Systems director general (5th from right) and Army Brigadier General Robert Ferrell, U.S. Africa Command (U.S. AFRICOM) C4 Systems director (Ferrell's left), pose for a photo with delegation chiefs from 28 African nations and Sweden during the Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 Mid-Planning Conferences in Accra, Ghana on March 31, 2010. AE is U.S. Africa Command's annual communications exercise that focuses on interoperability and information sharing among African nations. AE 2010 is scheduled to take place in Ghana, August 9-19, 2010. Past AE exercises were held in South Africa (2006), Nigeria (2008) and Gabon (2009). (Photo by Lieutenant James Stockman, U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs)

Thirty-six African countries, the AU, the Economic Community of Western African States, the Economic Community of Central African States, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States are participants in AE 2010

ACCRA, Ghana - Ghana Minister of Defense, Lieutenant General J.H. Smith (front, right) is escorted by Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 exercise director, U.S. Navy Commander Britt Talbert (front, left), U.S. Africa Command communications director, U.S. Army Brigadier General Robert Ferrell (middle, right), and U.S. Embassy Ghana Charge d’ Affaires, Julie Furuta-Toy (middle, left) as he reviews the AE 2010 exercise participants during a ceremony at the Ghana Command and Staff College in Accra August 9, 2010. AE 2010 is a U.S. Africa Command-sponsored initiative intended to encourage interoperability and information exchange among African nations via communication networks and subsequent collaborative links with the U.S., African Union and other African partners with common stability, security and sustainment goals. (U.S. Africa Command photo by Lieutenant Commander James Stockman)

ACCRA, Ghana - Benin Army Lieutenant Firman Donadji (left), Gambia Army Lieutenant Bakary Sennah (center), and Benin Army Captain Farell Folly (right) prepare a Powerpoint presentation to instruct troops about Information Assurance (IA) during Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Accra on August 12, 2010. (Photo by North Dakota Army National Guard Specialist Jess Reesch)

On 8/13/2010 11:20:47 AM Captain Farell Folly of Benin wrote:

For me this is an amazing learning experience. I know the Information Assurance program that is being taught during this exercise. My job here is to teach other people. It is both an experience and a teaching environment. We can meet people from everywhere and get to share knowledge. Having help from other countries has helped us achieve our goal.

While at Africa Endeavor, I am responsible for people from many different nations. I have to plan how to get them working as a group. I have learned new leadership skills that I will take back with me to my country.

On 8/16/2010 3:00:09 PM Zambia Major Benedicto Kepiza wrote:

My impression of Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 is that it opens one’s eyes to modern trends in communications. It’s a wonderful experience that gets people to interact and share so much information. AE is important to me personally, because I have learned so much, especially from the resource personnel selected to conduct the lessons on various topics. They brought out certain aspects that helped me to understand the materials they presented even deeper. As Zambia we stand to benefit from AE in that the demonstrations about the new technology in communication equipment makes us aspire to acquire such equipment that can be useful to our country.

Wouldn’t it be a good idea for the US to invest the same or greater resources into building capacity in the civilian sector, training civilians for technology and leadership skills. Who is going to lead and govern countries in Africa?

I have heard and read a number of comments from participants in these Africa Command training programs very similar to what Captain Folly and Major Kepiza have to say. Ghanaians, and participants from a variety of countries have expressed similar enthusiasm. I am delighted they are able to participate and that the US training has been of so much value. My question is, how will these individuals apply these skills when they are dissatisfied with their governments? How will they apply their leadership and technological skills and networks?

All of us, in all the countries of the world, are dissatisfied with our governments at least some of the time. How will the governments where these trainees live cope with the challenges they face. Where will the civilian sector get the technological and leadership training? How will these governments cope with challenges arising from the expectations of their own military organizations? And what will the US government do when faced with coup governments created by their trainees and proteges? I think we can look at the recent elections in Kenya and Rwanda for clues.

ACCRA, Ghana - Nigerian Army Staff Sergeant Mohammed Babangida works with U.S. Marine Corp Lance Corporal Scott Marchewka to erect a broadband antennae at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Accra on August 11, 2010. This antennae will be used to communicate with North African countries during Africa Endeavor (AE). (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Commander James Stockman)

ACCRA, Ghana - Warrant Officer Julius Dzededzi, a Ghanaian Army medic, listens to the heartbeat of Ghana Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Richard Agbeshie Agbemy during a routine check-up at Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Accra on August 12, 2010. Dzededzi and Agbemy are supporting AE 2010 by providing medical care for all African countries participating in the exercise. (Photo by North Dakota Army National Guard Specialist Jess Reesch)

ACCRA, Ghana - U.S. Marine Corp Lance Corporal Scott Marchewka assists Lesotho Army Warrant Officer Knoabane Thamoe with the set-up of a Near Vertical Incident Skywave (NVIS) antennae used to practice radio exercises August 12, 2010 at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Accra. (Photo by North Dakota Army National Guard Specialist Jess Reesch)

ACCRA, Ghana - Benin Army Captain Farell Folly discusses information assurance (IA) tactics with U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Jason Elie during Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Accra on August 10, 2010. Farell and Elie are part of the IA Working Group, which provides security for information used and shared as well as making sure there are no viruses in the network. The IA Working Group is composed of service members from Switzerland, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Sweden, and the United States. (U.S. Africa Command photo by North Dakota Army National Guard Specialist Cassandra Simonton)

ACCRA, Ghana - U.S. Brigadier General Robert Ferrell, U.S. Africa Command's communications director, watches as Republic of Congo Colonel Leon Ndingo is instructed by John M. Atkinson, Land Mobile Programs director for Inmarsat, on how to conduct a satellite call during Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 on August 10, 2010, at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Accra. The Republic of Congo is one of seven countries participating in AE 2010 for the first time. (Photo by North Dakota Army National Guard Specialist Jess Raasch)

AE 2010′s goal is to develop command, control and communications tactics, techniques and procedures that can be used by the African Union (AU) and the African Standby Force in support of humanitarian assistance, disaster relief and peace support missions.

AE 2010 participants will spend the initial days of this two-week exercise learning academics regarding voice and data networks theory and configuration. The last several days of AE 2010 will be spent applying that knowledge during exercise scenarios.

This year’s exercise will be the first time a communications link between the exercise location and the AU is established. Situation reports and messages pertaining to the scenario and exercise will be passed from Accra, Ghana to the AU Peace Support Operations Center in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

“One of the Africa Union’s main objectives is to promote peace, security and stability on the continent. We need a united front to ensure this objective,” stated Ghana Minister of Defense Lieutenant General J.H. Smith. “Communications and information systems interoperability provide means for sharing of information across borders, which is very vital to the sustenance of the Africa Union and the African Standby Force.” (**)

If the only leadership you invest in is military leadership, if that is where you put all your money and effort, if that is what you train for, who do you expect will govern in the future? Whatever the case, the US military will be well and truly embedded in African communication systems.

ACCRA, Ghana - Nigerian Army Staff Sergeant Mohammed Babangida, with the assistance of U.S Marine Sergeants Ryan Kish and Brandon Sanders, establishes communications with U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk utilizing a Harris high-frequency radio during Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 in Accra on August 16, 2010. This marks the first time a radio call was attempted from the AE exercise site to an at sea vessel. (U.S. Africa Command photo by North Dakota Army National Guard Specialist Cassandra Simonton)

ACCRA, Ghana - Nigerian Staff Sergeant Mohammed Batangida, Nigerian Commander Eo Idor, Algerian Captain Kamel Rihani and Harris Corporation Applications Engineer Ian Dunsford work on the power supply for a high-frequency radio system during Africa Endeavor (AE) on August 13, 2010 at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Accra. (U.S. Africa Command photo by Lieutenant Commander James Stockman)

ACCRA, Ghana - Djiboutian Lieutenant Siad Houssein (left), Republic of Congo 2nd Lieutenant Dodolphe Maxine Anicet Ockandji (center), and Cameroon Warrant Officer Ahmedon Souley (right) share personal stories while waiting for an Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 data collecting class on August 13, 2010 at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College. (U.S. Africa Command photo by North Dakota Army National Guard Specialist Cassandra Simonton)

ACCRA, Ghana - The Gambia Army Warrant Officer Momodue Fofana examines the communications equipment demonstrated by U.S. Marine Corp Sergeant Ryan Kish during an Africa Endeavor (AE) 2010 field expedient class on August 13, 2010 at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College. The class focused on methods of improvising antennas in the event of loss or damage. AE 2010 is a U.S. Africa Command sponsored initiative intended to encourage interoperability and information exchange among African nations via communication networks and subsequent collaborative links with the United States, African Union and other African partners with common stability, security and sustainment goals. (U.S. Africa Command photo by North Dakota Army National Guard Specialist Cassandra Simonton)

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