Contact Us Press Releases AFRICOM Portal
Senior Foreign Military Leaders Gather in Washington D.C for WO/NCO Symposium
Senior foreign military leaders from 17 African countries gathered in Washington, D.C. at the National Defense University May 17, 2011 to kick off a week long Warrant Offer and Sergeants Major Symposium co-hosted by U.S. Africa Command and the
WASHINGTON D.C. - Chief Master Sergeant Jack Johnson, U.S. Africa Command's senior enlisted leader, speaks to participants of the Joint Warrant Officer/Sergeants Major Symposium, May 17, 2011.  Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 4: WASHINGTON D.C. - Chief Master Sergeant Jack Johnson, U.S. Africa Command's senior enlisted leader, speaks to participants of the Joint Warrant Officer/Sergeants Major Symposium, May 17, 2011. Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb) Download full-resolution version
WASHINGTON D.C. - Senior foreign military leaders from 17 African countries gather in Washington, D.C. at the National Defense University May 17, 2011 to kick off a week long Warrant Offer and Sergeants Major Symposium co-hosted by U.S. Africa Command and the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS). Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 4: WASHINGTON D.C. - Senior foreign military leaders from 17 African countries gather in Washington, D.C. at the National Defense University May 17, 2011 to kick off a week long Warrant Offer and Sergeants Major Symposium co-hosted by U.S. Africa Command and the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS). Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb) Download full-resolution version
WASHINGTON D.C. - Senior foreign military leaders from 17 African countries gather in Washington, D.C. at the National Defense University May 17, 2011 to kick off a week long Warrant Offer and Sergeants Major Symposium co-hosted by U.S. Africa Command and the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS). Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 4: WASHINGTON D.C. - Senior foreign military leaders from 17 African countries gather in Washington, D.C. at the National Defense University May 17, 2011 to kick off a week long Warrant Offer and Sergeants Major Symposium co-hosted by U.S. Africa Command and the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS). Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb) Download full-resolution version
WASHINGTON D.C. - Chief Master Sergeant Jack Johnson, U.S. Africa Command's senior enlisted leader, speaks to participants of the Joint Warrant Officer/Sergeants Major Symposium during an ice-breaker social, May 17, 2011.  Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 4 of 4: WASHINGTON D.C. - Chief Master Sergeant Jack Johnson, U.S. Africa Command's senior enlisted leader, speaks to participants of the Joint Warrant Officer/Sergeants Major Symposium during an ice-breaker social, May 17, 2011. Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb) Download full-resolution version
WASHINGTON D.C. - Chief Master Sergeant Jack Johnson, U.S. Africa Command's senior enlisted leader, speaks to participants of the Joint Warrant Officer/Sergeants Major Symposium, May 17, 2011.  Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb)
WASHINGTON D.C. - Senior foreign military leaders from 17 African countries gather in Washington, D.C. at the National Defense University May 17, 2011 to kick off a week long Warrant Offer and Sergeants Major Symposium co-hosted by U.S. Africa Command and the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS). Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb)
WASHINGTON D.C. - Senior foreign military leaders from 17 African countries gather in Washington, D.C. at the National Defense University May 17, 2011 to kick off a week long Warrant Offer and Sergeants Major Symposium co-hosted by U.S. Africa Command and the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS). Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb)
WASHINGTON D.C. - Chief Master Sergeant Jack Johnson, U.S. Africa Command's senior enlisted leader, speaks to participants of the Joint Warrant Officer/Sergeants Major Symposium during an ice-breaker social, May 17, 2011.  Throughout the week, participants will discuss critical issues relating to African security. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Lieutenant Colonel Steven Lamb)
Senior foreign military leaders from 17 African countries gathered in Washington, D.C. at the National Defense University May 17, 2011 to kick off a week long Warrant Offer and Sergeants Major Symposium co-hosted by U.S. Africa Command and the African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS).

U.S. Army Colonel Gene McConville, ACSS senior military advisor - Academic Affairs, noted during his welcoming statement, "This is very impressive. It is recognition of your nation's commitment to continued professionalism of your defense forces. It is also a recognition of the importance we place on continued professional dialogue of senior non-commissioned officers of the militaries we work with."

Throughout the week, participants will have the opportunity to discuss, in a non-attribution environment, such critical issues as U.S. strategy and security assistance in Africa, the African Standby Force, terrorism and transnational threats, security challenges and confronting health challenges while building health capacity in Africa's security sector.

Plenary sessions on each of these topics were led by experts in the field, each with many years of experience in working with Africans and helping to address regional threats and other issues.

"The goal of this symposium is to expose you to U.S. policy towards Africa, provide an overview of the U.S. Department of Defense and its policies and programs in Africa, the role played by the U.S. non-commissioned officer within the United States Armed Services and provides an opportunity to dialogue and discussion on African security issues," stated McConville.

AFRICOM's U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sergeant Jack Johnson thanked ACSS for putting on this symposium. "This is exceptionally important to all of us, and this just doesn't happen overnight. It took a lot of preparation to be sure that it's the right setting, the right information for you and for myself as well." He went on to thank his AFRICOM staff for their efforts in making the symposium possible. As the command's senior enlisted leader, Johnson provides assessments and recommendations to the commander, deputies, chief of staff, and AFRICOM staff on the leadership development capabilities of African warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and other ranks.

"Partnership, security and stability: quite frankly it's something that every country wants, something every country needs," according to Johnson. He later elaborated, "This opportunity that we'll have this week is not just for you to learn. I have only been in Africa Command for about sixty days, so this is a great opportunity for me to listen and to learn. We are all partners, no matter what country you come from."

These partners bring a wealth of experience to share at the symposium. During introductions it was discovered that many had more than 20 years experience serving their nations through the military. Several had trained abroad in France and some had even attended the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning and the Command Sergeants Major Course at Fort Bliss. Even more had had the opportunity to serve their nation and others in peacekeeping operations across the continent of Africa.

The week will conclude with tours at the U.S. Marine Corps base Quantico, the National Museum of the Marine Corps, our national monuments, Arlington Cemetery and possibly a visit to Congress.

At the end of the day Johnson expressed his belief that the rest of the week would be very profitable for all involved; he felt that the participants had really "warmed up" and that they would be able to dig in deeper to the details in subsequent sessions. He remarked that he was "impressed at how engaged they are. They are more focused on the solutions to the problems, they are focusing strategically on the solutions." According to Johnson everyone is "partnering for a common cause."
PARTNERSHIPS OPERATIONS READINESS