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The Secretary of the Army, the Honorable John M. McHugh, addresses participants of the U.S. Army Africa Training and Leader Development Conference, in the Golden Lion Conference Center Aug. 17 at Vicenza, Italy. The conference is designed to help the USARAF team understand the Army Chief of Staff's guidance on Army training and leader development in order to apply that guidance to the USARAF training and leader development program. Some of the other topics discussed during this conference include Regionally Aligned Force lessons learned, RAF readiness, training on the continent, and State Partnership Program lessons learned. (U.S. Army Africa photo by Sgt. Lance Pounds)

     
 

Senior leaders build foundation for African Horizons

By Sgt. Lance Pounds, U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs

VICENZA, Italy –Have you ever caught yourself daydreaming about the perfect home? You picture how big the yard has to be, one story or two, should you add a bedroom for guests or not, size of garage, and type of pool you want. The list goes on and on. These thoughts keep you motivated to someday have the perfect home.

Over time, thoughts turn into plans, then actions. Eventually you break ground and lay the foundation for your dream house. Along the way, there might be setbacks or struggles, but the final outcome keeps you motivated.

The same could be said for U.S. Army Africa. However, it’s not a daydream, it’s a goal. The list could consist of what an operation has to be, the number or level of partnerships required, should it add this element or that, number of personnel, and type of missions needed. Again, the list goes on and on. As an example, this list depicts the things that assist the USARAF team to achieve its desired goal, to assist their African partner nations to achieve peace, security and stability.

Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, USARAF commander, hosted a Training and Leader Development Conference and a Senior Leader Strategy and Orientation Session Aug. 17-20 in the Golden Lion conference center. The two events brought together Active, Guard, Reserve and Army Civilians who have cultural and subject matter expertise on the continent of Africa. Among the attendees were Secretary of the Army, Honorable John McHugh, and the Commander of U.S. Africa Command, Gen. David Rodriguez.

"Africa is a challenging place today and one that, if left unattended, is likely to be the birthplace of many more challenges in the future. That's why it's so important that U.S. Army Africa, working alongside AFRICOM, is here and doing important work," said McHugh.

In the analogy of building a dream house, this gathering of senior leaders would be comparable to pitching your plans to skilled master builders. The USARF conference featured a variety of ideas intended to turn dreams into reality.

Through the help of the master builders, blueprints create a visual plan for dream house. In this case, the blueprints are in the form of a strategy, called African Horizons.

African Horizons is USARAF’s plan. It articulates the framework of the African Horizons construct, establishes objectives supporting USAFRICOM’s goals and describes responsibilities as a Theater Army. The plan aids in prioritizing efforts, requesting and applying Army resources, directing specific activities in support of USAFRICOM and improving upon core functions.

Once blueprints have been created, it is time to source the work force. The conference, similar to a convention of master craftsmen, served as a place for the USARAF team to learn from and make connections with those who can help achieve its goals.

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