DAKAR, Senegal – U.S. Navy Command Master Chief Ryan Burton, acting command senior enlisted leader, U.S. Africa Command, met with senior Senegalese defense leaders in Dakar, Senegal, last week.
During the visit, he met with the Chief of Defense Staff and Senegalese senior enlisted leaders to discuss empowerment of non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and professional development of enlisted forces.
"Due to the unique global security situation, a professional enlisted force is imperative to the accomplishment of any mission," Burton said. “Senegal has displayed a desire to further professionalize their enlisted forces. The Senegalese have actioned an effective professionalization campaign in which other African partners are modeling their programs after”
Senegal has been identified as one of AFRICOM’s Africa Enlisted Development Strategy focus countries for this year. This strategy is a low-to-no-cost, multi-year approach to enlisted development on the continent. This approach seeks to standardize existing African professional military education institutions that can train, not only their own nation’s forces but also those of neighboring countries, to create regional centers of excellence.
The U.S. has already been working with Senegalese Armed Forces to help develop their NCO development instructor cadre. In July, the Senegalese Air Force sent five (5) NCOs to McGhee-Tyson Air Force Base, Tenn., to observe a U.S. NCO professional development course and identify best practices that can be implemented in their programs. The Vermont National Guard, which is partnered with Senegal as part of the Department of Defense’s State Partnership Program, has been working to enhance the Senegalese enlisted professional development program.
In addition to Senegal, Kenya, Morocco, and Mozambique are focus countries for the strategy this year.
“These four countries are among the leaders when it comes to professional enlisted development,” Burton said. “These nations are helping to lay the foundation for NCO development throughout the African continent.”
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