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Planning confab on military communications opens in Accra

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Military communication experts from Africa, Europe and other Western countries are attending a one week-long planning conference to co-ordinate activities to improve security capabilities of African partners on standard military communications practices in Accra.

The conference, which precedes the annual Exercise Africa Endeavour (EAE) 2012 scheduled to be held in June at the Cameroonian city of Doula, is expected to provide participants the platform to engage in knowledge sharing and experiences of best military communication practices.

This year’s EAE, which is a joint event sponsored by United States (US) Africa Command and supported by the Africa Union, is expected to focus on communications interoperability among African partner nations.

At an opening ceremony organised in Accra on Monday, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Christian Edem Kobla Dovlo, Commandant, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, underscored the importance of interoperability in all multinational integrated operations stressing that effective and efficient communication was crucial for the success of missions.

“Communication is critical glue that holds all operations together at all levels,” he said.

AVM Dovlo said preparedness and training was important to serve as a deterrent posture to any who would want to thwart peace and security efforts.

At a press conference organised later after the opening ceremony, Brigadier General Joseph K Kwankye, Director General, Defence Communications and Information Systems, Ghana Armed Forces, described the African Endeavour Exercise as very useful adding that Ghana had benefited immensely from the successes of the programme since 2006.

US Navy Commander Bryan McRoberts, lead planner for Africa Endeavour 2012, said the hands-on exercise was useful to establish and build on the human interoperability that must take place between partner nations for an operation to be successful.

He said: “Often times it is the human factors that prove the most critical during a crisis or contingency event, and exercises like this one allow us to establish key relationships between forces before a crisis actually develops.”

Col Gabriel Mvogo, Head of the Cameroonian delegation, said the country was ready to host the event in June 2012.

He added that they learnt from the success stories from other countries that had hosted the event and allay the expectation of participating countries.

The Africa Endeavour event focuses on communications interoperability (ability for the officers to work together based on shared meaning) among African partner nations.

Since its inception in 2006, the event had sought to improve the security capabilities of African partners by assisting in the development of common, standard military communications practices that would help offer better support for future operations in the Africa.

The event is expected to bring together more than 200 participants from 35 African countries, including Ghana, US, Canada, Netherlands, African Unions, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the European Union and Economic Community of West African States.

Source: GNA

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