BUJUMBURA, Burundi (May 20, 2021)-- Two U.S. Soldiers assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) provided updated communications equipment to the Burundi Army signal team in Bujumbura, Burundi, to reestablish the African Data Sharing Network.
The ADSN allows countries to collaborate at the national and tactical levels through intelligence data exchange.
“We are happy to have them here,” said Burundi Army Maj. Nibampa Féliase, a signal officer, about the U.S. Soldiers. “We like working with our partners and having them here providing hands-on help has exceeded our expectations.”
Having personal interactions with partner nations enhances our relationships with them and allows an open exchange for questions or concerns, said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Joel Nelson, the CJTF-HOA communications projects non-commissioned officer in charge.
The CJTF-HOA team provided a kit that replaced an encryptor, two networking devices, two laptops, and two phones. In addition, they helped dismantle an outdated satellite system previously used to connect users to the ADSN.
“This is our sixth country where we’ve deployed the new equipment and trained partner forces,” said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 David Goodwin, the CJTF-HOA communications chief projects officer. “COVID has been a challenge for our travels, but we’ve been determined to help restore ADSN in East Africa.”
The team completed updates for the ADSN in Djibouti, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and now Burundi.
These countries can now use file sharing, voice, email, and chat capabilities to allow the exchange of information across differing security domains.
Each site posed unique challenges that were unforeseen until onsite. Whether it was a firewall, internet connection or a hardware issue, the team managed to find a solution and accomplish the mission.