STUTTGART, Germany - The U.S. Africa Command’s new Joint Operations Center (JOC) hosted an open house for staff and families, Feb. 5.
The facility became fully operational in Dec. 2015. Five years of design, construction, renovations, and upgrading of its IT infrastructure at a cost of about $28M has resulted in a state-of-the-art operational facility capable of providing significantly enhanced command and control and situational awareness to aid the Combatant Commander, Gen. David Rodriguez, and his senior staff in making decisions that affect U.S. military missions and operations on the African continent.
The JOC brought together the efforts and expertise of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Europe, the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Directorate of Public Works, the U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Atlantic, and the U.S. Army 52nd Signal Battalion as well as AFRICOM staff to create a true state-of-the-art joint operations center.
Nearly one hundred AFRICOM staff and family members attended the open house. JOC personnel, who had “sanitized” the facility for the event, were on hand to explain how the joint operations center is the 24/7 command and control node for AFRICOM and where leaders and staff plan and execute its most critical missions.
Open house attendees learned about recent events that made headlines, such as the U.S. government response to the Bamako, Mali and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso hotel shootings.
The JOC also monitors the capture and targeting of violent extremist organization (VEO) leadership in Africa such as Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, and ISIL, all of which are directed and reported on from the JOC on a continuous, daily basis and judiciously monitored by the JOC watch team who in turn integrate with the entire AFRICOM HQ Staff and interagency and foreign liaison partners.
“We’re proud to show you our new home,” said U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Michael Franken, AFRICOM deputy to the commander for military operations, “our new JOC represents a great accomplishment in bringing together the best technology with the best people to help enable us to provide a more secure environment for us and our partner nations.”