News: USARAF fields command contingency post for first time in Africa
By Army Sgt. Charlie Helmholt
139th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment
THEBEPHATSHWA AIR BASE, The Republic of Botswana – Southern Accord 12, a bilateral training operation designed to enhance military capabilities and interoperability between U.S. Forces and the Botswana Defense Force, presented the first opportunity for United States Army Africa to field a command contingency post in Africa.
The CCP acts as the military liaison between U.S. Forces and the U.S. State Department, represented by the Embassy of that particular country. This provides an on-site, governmental voice to guide the military operation.
“When units from multiple organizations and multiple countries come in to accomplish a mission, we provide the overarching command platform that allows us to communicate with those organizations and provide the most timely, accurate and relevant information possible to the Joint Task Force,” said Lt. Col. David Timothy Williams, USARAF CCP commander.
USARAF assists and enhances partner nation security forces so those forces contribute to security, stability and peace in their own nations. Southern Accord 2012 is a U.S. Africa Command-sponsored, U.S. Army Africa-led combined, joint exercise designed to enhance military capabilities and interoperability between U.S. military forces and the BDF.
Deploying the CCP to Africa went off without a hitch, thanks in large part to the training conducted beforehand, said Williams.
“The CCP’s communications were up in 45 minutes, and the CCP was fully operational within four hours,” said Maj. Mark W. Anders, the operations officer for USARAF CCP and a Charlotte, N.C., native.
The main focus of the CCP was confirming their communication package, which allows them to execute the command and control mission from the USARAF command, said Williams. Once communication was confirmed, the CCP’s mission to Botswana became both a successful and historic one.