U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) hosted an Inspector General (IG) conference at Kelley Barracks, Germany, from May 17 and 18, 2022, bringing together the combatant command, joint, and service component IGs.
The conference's purpose was to provide instruction from relevant subject matter experts; promote opportunities for IGs military to military engagement; promote cohesiveness, cooperation, and team building across the AFRICOM's IG enterprise.
"The purpose of the conference was to get the command component IGs together to talk over some issues and learn techniques and procedures from higher headquarters IGs like DoD IG, Joint Staff IG, and the Department of the Army IG," said U.S. Air Force Col. Henry Myers Jr, U.S. Africa Command Inspector General.
The inspector general reports directly to the U.S. Africa Command commander, serving to report on the state of efficiency, discipline, morale, training, and readiness throughout the command in support of the commander's intent. The inspection process performs as a fair, impartial, and objective fact finder to assist the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, civilians, and their families in resolving issues of concern, impropriety, or wrongdoing quickly.
The inspector general's office performs investigations, inspections, and assistance functions as directed by the commander. It conducts engagements to assist African militaries and ministries of defense in establishing and enhancing host nation inspector general capabilities throughout the command's area of responsibility.
Discussion and dialogue were the critical goals for those in attendance. The IG representatives discussed top issue shortcomings in their areas of responsibility, which allowed everyone to discuss possible alternative solutions, ideas, and techniques.
Networking, establishing professional relationships, and discussing complex issues proved beneficial to many IGs.
"I now have a much better understanding of my brothers and sisters in the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marines as far as how they approach IG operations," said Col. Doug Merrit, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa Inspector General "this helped clarify how that applied to Africa and how it applied to our forces here in Europe and how we can pull together to work better in accomplishing our mission."
For Myers, understanding the many lessons learned on the components needs from AFRICOM IG and the holes in communication between the DOD IG, Joint Staff IG, and the Department of Army IG was the biggest takeaway from this conference.