Camp Lemonnier held the first-ever Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Summit Conference, January 21-23, 2010.
The conference, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), gave military leaders a unique opportunity to listen to innovative strategies, technologies and future plans for the African region.
"This conference is the first of its kind for the Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa," said U.S. Air Force Colonel William Lewis, AFRICOM Joint Staff Director for Command, Control, Communications, and Computers. "We've spent a lot of time highlighting the capabilities of C4ISR here in Africa and speaking about how we can improve those facilities in the future."
During the conference, everyone was shown an active demonstration of the SNAP satellite system and how it is used in the field.
"SNAP stands for SIPR NIPR (military networks) Access Point," said Petty Officer 1st Class Ian Lutticken, who helped set up the display. "It only takes an hour to set up and once it is set up you can hook up to 15 SIPR or NIPR computers to it for internet access or message traffic. This is useful for us in Africa because we can send a system with a group of Seabees or a Civil Affairs team and they can stay connected no matter where they are."
Throughout the conference, officials were given the opportunity to share ideas with each other and speak about different capabilities across the different military branches.
"This conference has been one of the most rewarding I've attended," said U.S. Army Colonel Michael Flynn, AFRICOM's Command, Control, Communications and Computer Systems director. "The relationships we're building throughout the different military branches are extremely helpful and valuable as we move forward with our mission in Africa."
Lewis finds these conferences to be significant to the mission and hopes to attend more in the future.
"This conference has been excellent," said Lewis. "Africa is unique and important to our mission as a Joint Task Force and it is critical that we continue to have these conferences to learn about our capabilities and limitations."
C4ISR is a critical aspect of CJTF-HOA's mission to strengthen partner nation and regional security capacity to enable long-term regional stability.