Continuity in a command environment is vital to the success of the mission and/or the program an individual is responsible for. Building an environment where that continuity, leadership and teamwork grows is the vision of the Fusion Action Cell and the Threat Security Co-Operation Hive that went fully operational on Camp Lemonnier Nov. 1, 2014.
The Hive is an integral part of innovative re-organization of CJTF-HOA, building and joining together joint, inter-agency, inter-governmental and multi-national teammates from Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Burundi, Kenya and Uganda, building leaders and giving them the opportunities to succeed.
“Building the relationships between our African teammates is a must to provide the best Combined Joint Task Force possible,” said Maj. Gen. Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., Commander Combined Joint Task Force- Horn of Africa. “The men and women who work day and night in the Fusion Action Cells are at the forefront of innovation in mission command, joining partner countries together for a greater good and I could not be prouder of their efforts and strides they have made.”
According to Grigsby, the old regional engagement branch consisted of one single desk officer per country. The cells now consist of a country liaison officer and six other officers allowing greater continuity of information sharing.
Using this concept, the FAC will no longer rely on only one person’s knowledge and will have resilience--a means of establishing a corporate memory and enable long-term planning.
With each FAC as a force multiplier of its own, the cells are joined in the Threat Security Co-Operation Hive, building upon the information sharing and using issues and threats from other countries to help plan for future events.
“Perhaps the most important part of the re-organization is that officers from our African partners’ nations are now central in the cells and desk teams,” Col. Timothy Connors, FAC/HIVE director. “Using the unclassified work environment, allowing the liaisons to contribute to everything we do here.”
While the FAC/HIVE mission command is real world and face-to-face, it is supported by the All Partners Access Network the web based application that is a collection of communities developed to foster information and knowledge sharing between the U.S. Department of Defense and non-DOD entities that do not have access to traditional DOD networks.
APAN offers a variety of collaboration tools online that can be used alone or in conjunction with other tools to develop unique online community space.
“The FAC is a splendid relationship and team building experience that promotes the fraternity of the profession of arms, while also bringing to life the global coalitional spirit in the fight against global terrorism.” said Lt. Col. Okei Rukogota, Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces liaison officer. “Then, using real-time multimedia opportunities offered by APAN is an excellent learning experience that is professionally enriching.”
According to Rukogota, the FAC has made the country liaison officers a critical participant in the formulation, planning and execution of missions, engagements and tasks. This enables timely and efficient planning of customized partnerships between countries.
The Hive is attached to the Civil Affairs Battalion allocated to CJTF-HOA, allowing the hive to act upon the information gleaned and assist their Eastern African teammates in their fight against violent extremist organizations. The Hive provides a fresh perspective for regionally approached commands and has possible uses in others parts of the world.