“The United Kingdom is both a great partner and ally in contingency operations. Information sharing and dominating in the multi-domain environment is the desired outcome as we go forward in the Horn of Africa.”
Those are the words of U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. James R. Kriesel, deputy commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, during his visit to the Ministry of Defense, London, June 5, 2019, to participate in key leader engagements with Ministry of Defense intelligence and reconnaissance leadership.
The objective and desired effect of the four-day trip was to build relations with the leaders across the Ministry of Defense and familiarize Kriesel with the partner nation’s information exchange policies, which is mission essential in support of national objectives. In addition, Kriesel met with U.S. Africa Command leaders stationed at RAF Molesworth.
“There’s a lot we can learn from each other within the small intelligence community,” said Jonathan Moore, Ministry of Defense intelligence director. “It’s important to exchange different perspectives and test each other’s judgments. That’s when you find that reality is within teamwork.”
Moore and Kriesel also discussed the CJTF-HOA combined joint operations area, noting the huge expanse of space with so many focuses can be difficult to keep up with and observe. They agreed the focus needs to be on African solutions for African problems, and not always leaning on a western perspective.
One unique opportunity was a visit to the United Kingdom’s Permanent Joint Headquarters, which houses a quick response force similar to CJTF-HOA’s East Africa Response Force. The EARF provides a broad range of rapidly-deployable military capabilities to protect American interests on the African continent should any threat arise.
Conversations during the visit focused on locations of response, basing and logistics, and response times in case of an emergency.
“In reference to readiness, a key component is logistics,” said Kriesel. “Accurate response in contingency operations happens through agile and connected planning. The U.K. and U.S. have partnered extensively and are strategic partners in planning and responding to contingency operations requirements. Both know that is what right looks like.”