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Military Communicators Gather for AFRICA ENDEAVOR-08
More than 225 military communicators and representatives from 22 African and European nations as well as the United States proudly passed in review to officially signal the start of AFRICA ENDEAVOR-08, July 16, 2008, at the Nigerian Air Force Base
ABUJA, Nigeria - Service members participating in AFRICA ENDEAVOR pass in review at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Abuja, Nigeria July 16, 2008.  This U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise brought together more than 225 U.S. and African military communicators to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications, and computer systems in preparation for future peacekeeping and disaster relief operations.  (Department of Defense Photo)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 3: ABUJA, Nigeria - Service members participating in AFRICA ENDEAVOR pass in review at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Abuja, Nigeria July 16, 2008. This U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise brought together more than 225 U.S. and African military communicators to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications, and computer systems in preparation for future peacekeeping and disaster relief operations. (Department of Defense Photo) Download full-resolution version
ABUJA, Nigeria - General A.O. Azazi, Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff, inspects the troops during the opening ceremony of Africa Endeavor 2008 on Nigerian Air Force Base, Abuja, July 16, 2008. Africa Endeavor 2008, a U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise, brings the U.S. and African nations together to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications, and computer systems from participant nations in preparation for future African humanitarian, peacekeeping, and disaster relief operations. (Department of Defense Photo)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 3: ABUJA, Nigeria - General A.O. Azazi, Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff, inspects the troops during the opening ceremony of Africa Endeavor 2008 on Nigerian Air Force Base, Abuja, July 16, 2008. Africa Endeavor 2008, a U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise, brings the U.S. and African nations together to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications, and computer systems from participant nations in preparation for future African humanitarian, peacekeeping, and disaster relief operations. (Department of Defense Photo) Download full-resolution version
ABUJA, Nigeria - Participants of AFRICA ENDEAVOR stand at attention for a group photo at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Abuja, Nigeria July 16, 2008. This U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise brought together more than 225 U.S. and African military communicators to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications, and computer systems in preparation for future peacekeeping and disaster relief operations.  (Department of Defense Photo)
3 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 3: ABUJA, Nigeria - Participants of AFRICA ENDEAVOR stand at attention for a group photo at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Abuja, Nigeria July 16, 2008. This U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise brought together more than 225 U.S. and African military communicators to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications, and computer systems in preparation for future peacekeeping and disaster relief operations. (Department of Defense Photo) Download full-resolution version
ABUJA, Nigeria - Service members participating in AFRICA ENDEAVOR pass in review at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Abuja, Nigeria July 16, 2008.  This U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise brought together more than 225 U.S. and African military communicators to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications, and computer systems in preparation for future peacekeeping and disaster relief operations.  (Department of Defense Photo)
ABUJA, Nigeria - General A.O. Azazi, Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff, inspects the troops during the opening ceremony of Africa Endeavor 2008 on Nigerian Air Force Base, Abuja, July 16, 2008. Africa Endeavor 2008, a U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise, brings the U.S. and African nations together to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications, and computer systems from participant nations in preparation for future African humanitarian, peacekeeping, and disaster relief operations. (Department of Defense Photo)
ABUJA, Nigeria - Participants of AFRICA ENDEAVOR stand at attention for a group photo at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Abuja, Nigeria July 16, 2008. This U.S. European Command-sponsored exercise brought together more than 225 U.S. and African military communicators to plan and execute interoperability testing of command, control, communications, and computer systems in preparation for future peacekeeping and disaster relief operations.  (Department of Defense Photo)
More than 225 military communicators and representatives from 22 African and European nations as well as the United States proudly passed in review to officially signal the start of AFRICA ENDEAVOR-08, July 16, 2008, at the Nigerian Air Force Base in Abuja, Nigeria.

The multinational interoperability and information exchange exercise represents the ongoing collaboration and planning over the past several months between the Chief of Defence, Staff Nigerian Armed Forces, and the U.S. European Command.

The Nigerian Ministry of Defence is hosting the exercise that will build capacity and further develop partnerships among member nations and organizations that share common aspirations, stability and security goals with the African Union.

The Reviewing Officials, General A.O. Azazi, Nigerian Chief of Defense and Ms. Lisa Piascik, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, both welcomed the 25 nations and organizations as they stood at attention on the parade field.

"Nigeria is lucky to host this very busy exercise where you are experimenting and testing your communications equipment," Azazi told the military delegations. "It is time that Africa stands up to its responsibility and contributes to taking care of our own when we are called upon to support the African Standby Force."

One of the objectives of AFRICA ENDEAVOR is to achieve a level of interoperability and compatibility that will allow nations to successfully conduct future regional and transnational operations. The lessons learned and the final documentation that is compiled by the Joint Interoperability Test Command will help service members in peacekeeping missions, humanitarian relief operations, and other military functions.

In his remarks, General Azazi reminded the 23 nations that AFRICA ENDEAVOR is a young initiative. "I wish to see more countries represented in AE in the next year and hope all nations participating take full ownership of this important interoperability and information exchange exercise."

AFRICA ENDEAVOR, the second exercise of its kind on the African continent, is an operationally-focused military communications exercise that is directed toward command, control, communications and information systems integration and interoperability among the 22 participating African and European nations, as well as the United States.

"In an era of technological advancement on every front, the techniques and procedures initiated here will continue to broaden the network of military communication as well as the interplay of science and technology between our countries," said Piascik "From today we go forward to a new level of interaction between governments for the benefit of our people."
Both speakers made special note of the critical role the Nigerian Armed Forces have played during the planning and preparation of the base. Over the past several weeks, the Nigerian military has worked extensively to ready the test site to accommodate over 25 military tents and administration space for the communicators and support staff.

Noting the transformation of the site, Ms. Piascik complimented the Nigerian military for all their hard work to reach the final phase of the large exercise.

"New strides are not easy to take. Neither has the preparation for this exercise been an easy task. The beautifully crafted and maintained buildings of the Nigerian Air Base here in Abuja are a testament to the importance the Ministry of Defense places on issues regarding the quality of life for those in the "profession of arms," said Piascik.
"I would like to thank the Chief of Defense Staff for his personal commitment to advancing the Nigerian military's communications capabilities as well as his personal commitment to ensuring this exercise's success. The United States is proud to have Nigeria and the countries and organizations present today as partners not only in this exercise, but in peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts throughout the region."
Following the opening ceremonies with more than 100 persons and members of the Nigerian press in attendance, the delegations moved to the test site to begin preparing for the extensive six days of testing. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Richard Dollesin, AE-08 Exercise Director, told the 23 Delegation Chiefs that their teamwork and extensive planning culminates today, here at the Nigerian Air Force Base.

"Together over the next six days, your nations will collectively participate in over 180 tests of your military communications systems to identify solutions to meeting military command, control, communications and information systems challenges you experience here on the continent" he said. "You and your militaries are the way forward as you enable and enhance your countries in your quest to achieve a higher level of operational readiness here, on the African continent, as well as with other nations around the world."

Nations and representatives participating in this year's exercise include: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sweden Uganda, United States and Zambia as well as the African Union and ECOWAS.

Other organizations and U.S. military units supporting the exercise include: U.S. Marine Forces Europe, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Public Affairs, First Combat Communications Squadron, Ramstein Air Force Base, 8th Communications Battalion, Camp Lejeune, Marine Headquarters History, Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, U.S. European Command, U.S. African Command, and the Joint Interoperability Test Command.
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