|Maj. Gen. David R. Hogg, commander of U.S. Army Africa, speaks at the September 11 Cultural Association’s day-long seminar on Mediterranean security, at the Vicenza Centro Congressi Confartigianato.(Courtesy photo)|
U.S. Army Africa commander speakes at Vicenza security conference
By Rich Bartell, U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs
VICENZA, Italy–Maj. Gen. David R. Hogg, commander of U.S. Army Africa, was a featured speaker at the September 11 Cultural Association’s day-long seminar on Mediterranean security, at the Vicenza Centro Congressi Confartigianato, recently.
Addressing an audience of more than 100 participants, Hogg gave an overview of USARAF’s current and past operations as well as tying-in a historical perspective of the command’s relationship to security in the Mediterranean region.
“History reveals that the Mediterranean has always been an area of strategic importance. It has been and continues to be a hub of commercial activity,” Hogg said.
He explained USARAF’s security role in Africa.
“By working with African militaries to address their security concerns, we assist them to increase stability in and around the continent. We engage with our military partners in Africa to help defeat Al Qaeda, Al Shabaab, Boko Haram as well as other extremist organizations that are international threats, not just African threats.
Additionally, U.S. Army Africa is prepared to conduct humanitarian or evacuation operations once they are directed and authorized by civilian authorities,” Hogg said.
Hogg elaborated on USARAF’s recent humanitarian operations in Africa.
“In the last two years we have engaged in humanitarian missions in Mali and Libya. We’ve conducted hundreds of mentorship and strengthen programs that benefited not only the military but the civilian populations of our African partner nations.”
Other speakers joining Hogg were Maj. Gen. Enrico Pino, commander of the Veneto region of the Italian Army; Professor Massimo de Leonardis, Catholic University of Milan; Kyle Scott, from the U.S. Consulate in Milan and Ubaldo Alifuoco, vice president, September 11 Cultural Association.
Pino provided a briefing of recent Italian Army operations and their relationship to Mediterranean security.
Additionally, war correspondent Lorenzo Cremonesi and economics professor Arduino Paniccia made presentations at the seminar.
According to information provided by the September 11 Cultural Association, the forum was created as a permanent initiative to examine political, military, economic and social aspects with the aim of creating a virtual observatory for future in-depth study of international security.
Hogg concluded his discussion by comparing African continent security and Mediterranean country’s concerns with respect to international security objectives.
“Security in the Mediterranean has more regional, national and global implications than what I’ve been able to share with you today, but I hope I’ve reassured you that we are all in pursuit of common goals: a world that is safe, stable and secure, so that our families are safe to live and move freely,” Hogg said.
“I’ll leave you with a quote from a recent discussion on the desires of the people of Africa. The hopes, dreams and aspirations of the African people are no different from ours.
Let’s keep in mind the common threads of humanity as we continue to work toward achieving the vision of improved global security,” Hogg said.