Military planners for U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa, visited several sites in Georgia Oct. 18-22, 2021 for the African Land Forces Summit initial planning event. The planning event is part of ongoing preparation for ALFS, which is scheduled to take place in March, 2022.
ALFS is a weeklong event that hosts leaders from more than forty African countries for training and partnership building with U.S. Army leaders. The last several years ALFS has taken place in Africa, hosted by different allied nations across the continent each year. This year, the event will be held in the U.S., giving African leaders the opportunity to learn more about U.S. military capabilities and resources.
In the months leading up to ALFS, planners will meet with community and base officials in Columbus and Ft. Benning, touring potential hotels, culturally significant locations, and on-base facilities that will be part of the training event. Planners gather information such as cost, building capacity, security, and connectivity capability for each location.
International military engagements branch chief for SETAF-AF, Lt. Col. Robert Miller, is serving as the lead planner for ALFS 22. Miller said that the event is the second of four planning meetings that will take place in preparation for the summit.
“The first is a pre-deployment site survey that is conducted to determine if a location is feasible for an event of this scale,” Miller said. “After the site survey is conducted, we take that information with us to the IPE and start to refine the plan.”
The third planning event is scheduled for December. Miller said the December meeting will give planners the opportunity to provide updates, and build on the preparations that have already been completed.
“The next big ticket item is the main planning event (MPE),” Miller said. “That’s where we really try to get the majority of our information put together. The goal is to have most things planned out by the MPE, so that when we return for the final planning event, all agreements have been made and it’s just a confirmation of the plan and possibly even rehearsals for the event.”
ALFS is hosted by SETAF-AF in order to bring military leaders from the U.S. and Africa in order to discuss capabilities, build partnerships through face-to-face interaction, and discuss issues the allied forces are facing on the African continent.