Military logisticians from eight nations met at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti for the International Logistics Conference on March 31, 2015.
The Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa hosted the first-ever meeting of its kind to discuss the logistical challenges in the East Africa region and to build cooperation between the international militaries from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain and European Union that all conduct military operations in the East Africa region.
“One of the main goals of the conference was to build mutual support for logistics,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Daniel Pionk, CJTF-HOA J4 director. “We wanted to understand each nation’s logistics capabilities and how each nation can provide mutual logistical support should the need arise.”
According to Pionk, each nation’s military carries out a unique mission. However, all require logistic support for fuel, sustainment, parts and other requirements. It is important to establish cooperation prior to an emergency situation.
“Ideally, you want to build relationships before a crisis happens,’ Pionk noted. “It’s too late to do this after a crisis happens. If we need to provide critical logistics support, it is easier to support each other if the relationship has been previously established.”
Pionk says he hopes the conference will serve as a precursor to engaging with East Africa Partner Nations and understanding their logistics capabilities and needs.
“The one day conference opens up the opportunity to hold a two or three day conference with our Regional Partners later this year,” said Pionk. “We would like to invite senior logisticians from East Africa militaries to address the logistical challenges at the operational and strategic levels.”