STUTTGART, GERMANY (August 31, 2017) – Media representatives from Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Uganda participated in a media delegation visit hosted by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Aug. 28– Aug. 31, 2017, at Kelly Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany.
“Events like this are great because they give us the opportunity to learn from one another and share information,” said Jonathan Dahms, AFRICOM Deputy Public Affairs Officer. “These types of events are a good way to establish relationships with people on the ground so that when things happen we already have contacts that we can coordinate with directly.”
The purpose of this engagement was to bring together African media representatives and help them to better understand the overall mission of AFRICOM and its role on the African continent.
“There is a tremendous amount of misinformation as well as a lack of information pertaining to the U.S. engagement on the continent,” said Raymond Stephens, U.S. Mission to Somalia, Public Affairs Officer.
These events basically demystify what the U.S. and the U.S. military are doing to support the countries in Africa, he said.
“Before attending this event, I thought the role of AFRICOM was to send out drones to put down bad guys,” said Risdel Kasasir, Reporter for the Daily Monitor Newspaper in Uganda. “After attending this event I learned that AFRCIOM is about more than just fighting and killing the bad guy, they also focus on other things such as human rights and justice.”
Some of the topics discussed during the event included an overview of the U.S. Military and AFRICOM, an overview of AFRICOM operations and missions, the National Guard State Partnership Program, multinational cooperation and a closing interview with U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, Commander, U.S. Africa Command.
During the interview, Waldhauser said he hoped that the briefings were beneficial to all participants.
“I hope all of the presentations were frank and provided individuals a good explanation as to why we do things because we want to help you do your job, we want to ensure that every story that’s being told is told accurately,” said Waldhauser.