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Command Hosts Visit by Cameroon Journalists to Stuttgart
<br />U.S. Africa Command hosted a visit to Germany by four Cameroon journalists and a college dean September 14-17, 2009, providing briefings and meetings with senior staff, an office call with General William Ward and an on-the-record interview
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Howard Witt, senior managing editor of Stars and Stripes and former Chicago Tribune journalist, discusses press freedom issues with Cameroonian media September 17, 2009, at the daily newspaper's European offices.  The group from Cameroon included four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff. During a U.S. Embassy funded visit to Germany, they were hosted by Africa Command for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. Stars and Stripes is a daily newspaper funded by the U.S. government but chartered by U.S. Congress to provide independent, uncensored news for U.S. military personnel overseas. (Photo by Lieutenant Colonel Lane Benefield, Stars and Stripes Europe)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 4: KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Howard Witt, senior managing editor of Stars and Stripes and former Chicago Tribune journalist, discusses press freedom issues with Cameroonian media September 17, 2009, at the daily newspaper's European offices. The group from Cameroon included four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff. During a U.S. Embassy funded visit to Germany, they were hosted by Africa Command for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. Stars and Stripes is a daily newspaper funded by the U.S. government but chartered by U.S. Congress to provide independent, uncensored news for U.S. military personnel overseas. (Photo by Lieutenant Colonel Lane Benefield, Stars and Stripes Europe) Download full-resolution version
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany - Journalists from Cameroon meet with the staff of U.S. Air Forces Africa, headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, on September 17, 2009, during a U.S.-Embassy funded visit to Germany. The group, including four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff, visited Africa Command headquarters in Stuttgart for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. U.S. Air Forces Africa, also known at 17th Air Force, coordinates U.S. Air Force support to Africa Command. (Photo by Vince Crawley, U.S. Africa Command)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 4: RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany - Journalists from Cameroon meet with the staff of U.S. Air Forces Africa, headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, on September 17, 2009, during a U.S.-Embassy funded visit to Germany. The group, including four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff, visited Africa Command headquarters in Stuttgart for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. U.S. Air Forces Africa, also known at 17th Air Force, coordinates U.S. Air Force support to Africa Command. (Photo by Vince Crawley, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
MANNHEIM, Germany - Major Paul Haverstick, operations officer for American Forces Network-Europe, shows a broadcast control room to Cameroonian media and U.S. Embassy personnel September 17, 2009, during a U.S. Embassy-funded visit to Germany. The group, including four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff, visited Africa Command headquarters in Stuttgart for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. American Forces Network (AFN) provides radio and television service for U.S. military communities overseas. (Photo by Vince Crawley, U.S. Africa Command)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 3 of 4: MANNHEIM, Germany - Major Paul Haverstick, operations officer for American Forces Network-Europe, shows a broadcast control room to Cameroonian media and U.S. Embassy personnel September 17, 2009, during a U.S. Embassy-funded visit to Germany. The group, including four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff, visited Africa Command headquarters in Stuttgart for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. American Forces Network (AFN) provides radio and television service for U.S. military communities overseas. (Photo by Vince Crawley, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
STUTTGART, Germany - Denis Nkwebo, a journalist with Cameroon's Le Jour newspaper, speaks with General William Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, September 16, 2009, in Ward's office in Stuttgart, Germany. Nkwebo was part of a Cameroon media group, including four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff, on a U.S. Embassy-funded visit to the command September 14-17. The group was hosted by Africa Command for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. (Photo by Petty Office 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)
4 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 4 of 4: STUTTGART, Germany - Denis Nkwebo, a journalist with Cameroon's Le Jour newspaper, speaks with General William Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, September 16, 2009, in Ward's office in Stuttgart, Germany. Nkwebo was part of a Cameroon media group, including four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff, on a U.S. Embassy-funded visit to the command September 14-17. The group was hosted by Africa Command for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. (Photo by Petty Office 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - Howard Witt, senior managing editor of Stars and Stripes and former Chicago Tribune journalist, discusses press freedom issues with Cameroonian media September 17, 2009, at the daily newspaper's European offices.  The group from Cameroon included four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff. During a U.S. Embassy funded visit to Germany, they were hosted by Africa Command for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. Stars and Stripes is a daily newspaper funded by the U.S. government but chartered by U.S. Congress to provide independent, uncensored news for U.S. military personnel overseas. (Photo by Lieutenant Colonel Lane Benefield, Stars and Stripes Europe)
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany - Journalists from Cameroon meet with the staff of U.S. Air Forces Africa, headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, on September 17, 2009, during a U.S.-Embassy funded visit to Germany. The group, including four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff, visited Africa Command headquarters in Stuttgart for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. U.S. Air Forces Africa, also known at 17th Air Force, coordinates U.S. Air Force support to Africa Command. (Photo by Vince Crawley, U.S. Africa Command)
MANNHEIM, Germany - Major Paul Haverstick, operations officer for American Forces Network-Europe, shows a broadcast control room to Cameroonian media and U.S. Embassy personnel September 17, 2009, during a U.S. Embassy-funded visit to Germany. The group, including four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff, visited Africa Command headquarters in Stuttgart for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. American Forces Network (AFN) provides radio and television service for U.S. military communities overseas. (Photo by Vince Crawley, U.S. Africa Command)
STUTTGART, Germany - Denis Nkwebo, a journalist with Cameroon's Le Jour newspaper, speaks with General William Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, September 16, 2009, in Ward's office in Stuttgart, Germany. Nkwebo was part of a Cameroon media group, including four journalists, a university dean and two U.S. Embassy staff, on a U.S. Embassy-funded visit to the command September 14-17. The group was hosted by Africa Command for interviews and briefings about the work of the U.S. military Africa. (Photo by Petty Office 1st Class Daniel P. Lapierre, U.S. Africa Command)

U.S. Africa Command hosted a visit to Germany by four Cameroon journalists and a college dean September 14-17, 2009, providing briefings and meetings with senior staff, an office call with General William Ward and an on-the-record interview with Ward's two deputies. The visit was requested and funded by the U.S. Embassy in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Groups of African officials regularly visit the headquarters of Africa Command (U.S. AFRICOM), and this was the fourth State Department-funded public affairs/public diplomacy visit to Stuttgart since the command was formed in October 2007. Previous visits have included journalists, academics and African government employees representing Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa.

The Cameroon group arrived the morning of September 14 and, after a hotel check-in, met with Stuttgart's deputy mayor for social, youth and health affairs, Gabriele Mueller-Trimbusch, who discussed German views toward the U.S. military community in Stuttgart. The group also was briefed by Dr. Stephen Cochrane, U.S. Forces Liaison to the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, who discussed the history of the U.S. military in Germany and its role in building a democratic postwar German government.

On September 15, the group discussed the history and background of the U.S. military and the role of the military in American society. The group then received briefings, followed by roundtable discussions, from the Command's Directorate of Strategy, Plans and Programs. The briefings included an overview of military-to-military engagement programs in Cameroon and across Africa, and an overview of the humanitarian assistance programs conducted by the U.S. military, and how these programs support much larger humanitarian programs by the Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development.

The group was invited to an informal dinner reception with members of the international community in Stuttgart.

On September 16, the group held roundtable discussions with a representative of the Intelligence and Knowledge Development Directorate, as well as a maritime overview by the U.S. Naval Forces Africa liaison at Africa Command. The group then visited the U.S. Africa Command Joint Operations Center, met with a representative of the Outreach Directorate, conducted an office call with General William Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, and conducted an interview with the command's two deputies, Ambassador Tony Holmes, deputy to the commander for civil-military activities, and Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, deputy to the commander for military operations. Group members then discussed their visit with Major General Michael Snodgrass, chief of staff of U.S. Africa Command.

On September 17, the group visited the studios of the American Forces Network (AFN) Europe, in Mannheim, Germany. AFN coordinates television and radio broadcasts for American military communities across Europe and in deployment locations, including Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. The ground then had lunch with U.S. service members at a dining facility on Kleber Kaserne in Kaiserslautern, and met with the staff of Stars and Stripes, which publishes a daily newspaper for U.S. military members overseas. Discussions included freedom of the press issues in both the United States and Cameroon. The group then visited Ramstein Air Base, the largest U.S. Air Force base in Europe, and met with the staff of U.S. Air Forces Africa, also known as 17th Air Force, which coordinates U.S. Air Force support for U.S. Africa Command.

The group departed early on September 18.
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