STUTTGART, Germany, December 16, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — A media delegation from Algeria and Mauritania wrapped up a five-day visit to U.S. Africa Command, Friday, December 13, 2013. While at the Stuttgart, Germany-based combatant command, the 13 journalists received in-depth briefings on how AFRICOM operates.
On the first day of their visit, the delegation was welcome to Germany by AFRICOM’s Deputy Command for Military Operations, Lieutenant General Steven Hummer who encouraged the guests to ask questions and learn as much as possible about the command’s mission. Over the next five days, the journalists received an avalanche of information on health and humanitarian activities, maritime operations, exercises conducted on the African continent, special operations forces, and the chaplain’s program.
There were also opportunities for some sightseeing, taking a tour of downtown Stuttgart to visit a Christmas market and a road trip to Ramstein Air Base to tour the flight line and see U.S. military aircraft up close and personal.
As the program entered day four, the delegation heard more presentations covering subjects such as the importance of the rule of law and how professionalizing a military’s NCO corps can create a sustainable force.
The journalists asked questions about policies and processes, such as who’s in charge on the ground when the U.S. sends troops to assist during a disaster relief mission, how AFRICOM addresses crime on the high seas and how much money the U.S. Department of Defense spends on various programs on the continent each year.
For the journalists, the highlight of the trip came on the final day, an opportunity to interview the command’s senior leader, General David M. Rodriguez.
“We appreciate the hard work you do and the challenges you face as you cover stories in Africa,” said Rodriguez. “This is really what your visit is for, being as transparent as we can to improve Africa’s understanding about us. I hope you had a very informative week and I hope it helps you report what we and our activities are all about.”
Previous media delegation visits have included journalists from Kenya, Zambia, Burkina Faso and South Africa.
U.S Africa Command