U.S. Africa Command hosted a virtual engagement on cybersecurity at Kelley Barracks Aug. 5-6, 2020.
The forum focused on secure communications among partners, continued cooperation in the COVID-environment, and continuity of operations during a crisis. Roundtable discussions led by Col. Jeffrey Schroeder, director, command, control, communications, and computer systems, focused on limitations such as connectivity and securely teleworking during the pandemic and how to have overcome those obstacles. The two-day course included African partners from Uganda, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, and Morocco.
For AFRICOM, engagements with African partners remains a priority despite COVID-19 putting a stop on training and conferences in the traditional sense. Through virtual conferences, however, U.S. Africa Command and partners alike can continue refining and enhancing capabilities.
"Military-to-military (M2M) senior communication symposium provides a great opportunity to build partner capacity and exchange information between our countries," said Malgorzata Makuchowski, M2M program manager, U.S. Africa Command. "Our goal is to continue our dialog with the partners despite COVID-related limitations."
With information-sharing a key component of partnerships, AFRICOM representatives were able to relay best practices and lessons learned for cybersecurity strategies and policies during COVID-19. The symposium further provided a venue for senior military leaders from across Africa to review and analyze their countries' capability to collaborate and exchange information with partners during virtual operations, and develop and improve future training that supports telework.
AFRICOM's core mission remains one of helping to strengthen partner defense capabilities, achieved through military-to-military activities and assistance programs.