The African Land Forces Colloquium 2021 was held at Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, from Sept. 20-24, 2021.
U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa coordinated with the 7th Army Training Command to host senior leaders from across the African continent, allied and partner nations, U.S. military, country-specific liaison officers and other representatives in Grafenwoehr.
On day three of the inaugural ALFC event, participants received a range operations briefing, an up-close look at the Joint Multinational Training Center and tour of Range 118 which includes multiple shoot houses, a variety of pop-up target systems and a trench complex.
SETAF-AF Commander Maj. Gen. Andrew M. Rohling spoke about the importance of bringing African leaders into the training area.
“We tell African leaders 'we would like to be your partner of choice, we want to train with you, we’d like to invite you to an exercise;’ what I would like to do over the course of the next few days is put action to those messages. This event is an opportunity to show them what we’re capable of providing for our partners.”
The JMSC facility provides Soldiers the ability to train, practicing the art and science of command and control, from company-level to a 3-star level commands. This happens through an efficient method of blending virtual, gaming and constructive training.
An in-depth and informative tour of Range 118, starting at the rappel tower and tunnel complex, then moving to the wood-line targets, was provided by 7th ATC leaders and staff. After the target display, African leaders were shown military operations in urban terrain, a mock village that consists of four shoot-through buildings, one two-story 360 degree shoot house, and one building facade. The trenches were the final part of the tour. Each trench system allows Soldiers to practice clearing bunkers with either a live or simulator hand grenade. Additionally, the bunker consists of six swing arm targets that Soldiers can engage as they clear the bunker.
Participants spoke how the colloquium is prompting African Land Forces leaders to get to know each other better, thus improving communication and potential partnerships.
Ghana Armed Forces Chief of Army Staff Maj. Gen. Thomas Oppong-Peprah said he felt this event has allowed him to get to know his colleagues better.
“Maintaining global peace and security is not the work of any single entity,” he said. “This is done through a collective effort, but before we can work together we must get to understand each other first.”