The fourth edition of the international military communication exercise “African Endeavour 2010” ended in Accra on Friday with a call on participating countries to use that platform to forge synergies that would bring lasting peace to the African continent.
Thirty-six countries, two sub-regional organisations and three international bodies took part in the two-week exercise, initiated by the United States African Command (AFRICOM) aimed at building a strong and sustainable communication capability of African militaries in joint operations.
The multinational operationally-focused security cooperation exercise, expected to enhance command, control, communication and information systems, tactics and procedures of the African Union and the African Standby Force in humanitarian and peace support missions, enabled more than 200 military communicators test their information systems and equipment successfully.
“Indeed, a giant step has been taken in validating and verifying your interoperability, creating a cadre of multi-national African communicators, and establishing a reliable platform and atmosphere for information sharing and best practice”, said Lieutenant General Peter Blay, Chief of the Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF). He was addressing an impressive parade of participating militaries at the close of the exercise.
“We are charting a common course and forging unity and interoperability in joint coordination with our partners in order to achieve a high standard of efficiency in our role as militaries on the African continent…. And the signals at the end of this Command post Exercise give the assurance that we are not too far from achieving and realising this dream”, he said.
Lt. Gen. Blay lauded the conduct of the exercise, describing it as a “huge success” which has taken the continent a step closer to increasing the capacity of African Union and its standby force in dealing with humanitarian and peace support missions.
He said the Government of Ghana and its armed forces were determined to ensure that the dream of achieving a formidable force to wars on the continent was realised.
“We are therefore fully committed to such laudable ideas and will continue to give our unflinching support to this programme”
Lt. Gen. Blay urged the participating nations to approach future exercise with the same zeal, expressing optimism that the aims and objectives of the Africa Endeavour Exercise would “become real in the not too distant future”.
He commended the US government, the AFRICOM and its partners for their commitment to build the capacities of African militaries.
For the first time since the inception of the exercise in 2006, communicators at the 2010 exercise were able to establish a link between the exercise location with the African Union Headquarters Peace Support Operations Centre on voice, data and video.
The exercise successfully established sea to shore voice and data communications between the Nigerian delegation and the US Coast Guard Cutter, Mohawk, via high frequency radio link.
Participants also practised communications based on an African Union scenario, dwelling on humanitarian missions.