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Senegalese Media Delegation Visits U.S. Africa Command Headquarters
Members of the Senegalese media were given an in-depth look at the mission of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) during a week-long visit to Stuttgart, Germany, August 22-26, 2011. <br /> <br />The delegation, which consisted of five reporters, a
STUTTGART, Germany - Senegalese media representatives arrive on Kelley Barracks, August 22, 2011, for a  week-long orientation program to explain U.S. Africa Command&#39;s mission and programs. Throughout the week, the Senegalese delegation met with senior military officials, visited military and local news organizations, and received briefings on many AFRICOM programs related to Senegal. (US AFRICOM photo by Diane Cano)
2 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 2: STUTTGART, Germany - Senegalese media representatives arrive on Kelley Barracks, August 22, 2011, for a week-long orientation program to explain U.S. Africa Command's mission and programs. Throughout the week, the Senegalese delegation met with senior military officials, visited military and local news organizations, and received briefings on many AFRICOM programs related to Senegal. (US AFRICOM photo by Diane Cano) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - General Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S.  Africa Command, addresses a group of visiting media from Senegal during a briefing at the AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, August 26, 2011. Throughout the week, the Senegalese delegation met with senior military officials, visited military and local news organizations, and received briefings on AFRICOM programs related to Senegal. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson)
2 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 2: STUTTGART, Germany - General Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command, addresses a group of visiting media from Senegal during a briefing at the AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, August 26, 2011. Throughout the week, the Senegalese delegation met with senior military officials, visited military and local news organizations, and received briefings on AFRICOM programs related to Senegal. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - Senegalese media representatives arrive on Kelley Barracks, August 22, 2011, for a  week-long orientation program to explain U.S. Africa Command&#39;s mission and programs. Throughout the week, the Senegalese delegation met with senior military officials, visited military and local news organizations, and received briefings on many AFRICOM programs related to Senegal. (US AFRICOM photo by Diane Cano)
STUTTGART, Germany - General Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S.  Africa Command, addresses a group of visiting media from Senegal during a briefing at the AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, August 26, 2011. Throughout the week, the Senegalese delegation met with senior military officials, visited military and local news organizations, and received briefings on AFRICOM programs related to Senegal. (U.S. AFRICOM photo by Nancy Hudson)
Members of the Senegalese media were given an in-depth look at the mission of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) during a week-long visit to Stuttgart, Germany, August 22-26, 2011.

The delegation, which consisted of five reporters, a videographer, two military public affairs officers and two Senegalese embassy staff members, met with senior military leaders, visited military and local news organizations and received briefings on a wide range of AFRICOM programs.

"Given the important role Senegal plays in the western region, by annually hosting Africa Partnership Station (APS), the African Maritime Law Enforcement Program (AMLEP) and hosting Flintlock 2011 earlier this year, having key journalists and news editors educated on the programs and activities of Africa Command is extremely valuable," said Nicole Dalrymple, an AFRICOM media officer.

Command representatives presented topics related to U.S. military engagement and assistance programs with Senegal and other African militaries and how they support U.S. policy in Africa. Discussions included an overview of the U.S. military's organization and the history of AFRICOM.

Journalist Momar Dieng said he appreciated the information in a briefing that clarified AFRICOM's role in the Libyan conflict. "It's the first time that it has been explained to me," he added.

The delegation also met AFRICOM Commander General Carter F. Ham, who conducted an on-the-record interview on a number of topics.

Ham welcomed the delegation members to Stuttgart by saying, "I'm especially glad to see you here because it's very important to the United States to encourage a free and open press in all the countries that we interact with. Your role, your responsibilities in a democratic society is very, very important."

Before starting the interview Ham explained two principles behind AFRICOM. "The first principle is simply that a safe, stable and secure Africa is in the best interests not only of the African countries, but of my country as well," said Ham. "The second principle is that we recognize that it is Africans who are best able to address African security issues. What we at the United States Africa Command seek to do is to find ways that we can help African militaries contribute to their own security."

During the interview, Ham was asked about AFRICOM's motivations to which he responded, "The countries of Africa are increasingly important on the world scene. Whether one thinks about economic issues or diplomatic issues or security issues, Africa is rising in importance. And for that reason, my government decided a few years ago that we should have a military command that was established specifically and exclusively to engage with the armed forces of the African nations."

The Senegalese were also given a chance to interact with their German and American media counterparts during a visit to the Stuttgarter Nachrichten, American Forces Network (AFN) and Stars and Stripes.

The Stuttgarter Nachrichten is one of the major regional newspapers located in Stuttgart, Germany. AFN coordinates television and radio broadcasts for American military communities across Europe and in deployment locations, including Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. Stars and Stripes publishes an editorially independent daily newspaper for U.S. military communities overseas.

"As a media professional to see a media agency (Stars and Stripes) that produced that much -- 50,000 is a lot for my paper, but 500,000 is incredible and that doesn't include (AFN) radio, TV and internet. You can get your news however you want," said Assane Diagne, who works for the Senegalese News Agency.

The delegation travelled to U.S. military facilities in Mannheim, Ramstein and Kaiserslautern.

As part of their visit to Ramstein Air Base, the largest air base in Europe, the delegation met Major General Margaret Woodward, the commander of 17th Air Force, also known as U.S. Air Forces Africa, and her staff. 17th Air Force coordinates U.S. Air Force support for U.S. Africa Command.

As part of the command's Public Information Partnership and other initiatives developed by the commander's Public Affairs Office and J9 Outreach Directorate, AFRICOM hosts visits from African media, academic and civic leaders.

Since October 2007, AFRICOM has received nine press delegations from African nations where the command has increased military-to-military engagement activities to improve their understanding of the U.S. military's role in Africa. These have also included Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and South Africa.

See related transcript: AFRICOM Commander Interviewed by Senegalese Media
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