U.S Africa Command held its religious affair conference at Kelley Barracks, near Stuttgart, Germany, from Sept. 20-22, 2021; including participation from command components, U.S. National Guards, and European Command, with some joining in virtually.
The conference's purpose was to come together and build their framework and strategies, and coordinate religious support, while looking at U.S. Africa Command's campaign plan outlining the mission of chaplains supporting partners in Africa.
"The presence of our chaplains in AFRICOM provides a way to foster peace and security, as well as the opportunity for governments to enable freedom of religion." said U.S. Army Col. Eddie Cook, command chaplain, U.S. Africa Command.
During the conference, the chaplains discussed their overall objectives and goals. They also looked ahead to address any forthcoming obstacles and how to work together with their African counterparts.
Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler, Headquarters Chief of Staff, U.S. Africa Command, talked to the chaplains about the importance of educating others about their work in Africa and how it develops and sustains good governance.
Aside from the briefs and discussions, the chaplains toured a monastery to learn more about the host nation's culture and help highlight the importance of interoperability with their African partners, as well as European partners that have equities in Africa.
At the end of the conference, the chaplains discussed possible future operations to improve and coordinate their ministries. They plan to distribute responsibilities to provide support to their areas of responsibility.
U.S. Africa Command and international partners have a shared interest in promoting a secure, stable, and prosperous Africa to address complex challenges across the continent.