By Brenda Law
AFRICOM Public Affairs Office
More than 225 attendees from various organizations participated in the first ever U.S. Africa Command Chiefs of Defense (CHoD) conference, April 19-20. Besides AFRICOM senior leadership were representatives from 42 African countries, 35 U.S. Defense Attachés, AFRICOM Component Commanders, and members of the Joint Staff. Also attending were representatives from the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Institute of Defense Analysis, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) who operate on the continent.
In his opening remarks, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, Commander, U.S. Africa Command said, “Our goal is to have this conference defined by you and the issues of concern to your countries.
“As many of you know, the United States Africa Command was established 10 years ago as a reflection of the U.S. vital strategic interests.
“Ten years ago–in keeping with our National strategic objectives–we envisioned our overarching purpose to foster security, stability, and prosperity in Africa.
“This remains our purpose today,” said Waldhauser.