Africa Defense Forum
ADF is a professional military magazine published quarterly by U.S. Africa Command to provide an international forum for African security professionals. ADF covers topics such as counter terrorism strategies, security and defense operations, transnational crime, and all other issues affecting peace, stability, and good governance on the African continent.

Cyber Defense Event in Djibouti Aims to Safeguard Information

Reading Time: 2 minutes

STORY AND PHOTO BY SENIOR AIRMAN TAYLOR DAVIS/U.S. AIR FORCE

Modern security partnerships rely on the ability to collect, store and share information safely.

Improving information security and interoperability was the goal of a four-day conference in February 2021 in Djibouti. U.S. Soldiers assigned to the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) worked with Soldiers from French Forces Djibouti and the Armed Forces of Djibouti (FAD) in the cyber defense and interoperability engagement.

“In 21st century international defense, just as with diplomacy, economics and culture, information is a very powerful currency,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Lapthe Flora, CJTF-HOA commander. “It is shared, protected or lost to great effect.”

The event was designed to improve the ability of participant nations to protect information and defend themselves from cyberattacks.

“We care about all of our partners’ information security and want to be supportive of their information protection efforts,” said U.S. Army Maj. Jake Day, special technical operations chief, CJTF- HOA.

The event brought together 27 participants from the three nations. The 200 Cyber Protection Team from Fort Gordon, Georgia, led the event, which began with instruction on equipment protection and then moved into network analysis. 

“My favorite part was the first two days because we went over the different commands that show us how to better protect our equipment,” said Capt. Amina Abdillahi Mahamoud, a telecommunication engineer with the FAD. “At the same time, we learned how to use the software to detect attacks and trace the source destination of malicious activities and delete it.”

Participants agreed that the four-day engagement marked an important first step, but it won’t be the last.

“Your efforts not only ensure that each of our commands is better prepared to face actors whose intent it is to slip undetected past our defenses and view the information we must protect, but you have made us better able to do so arm in arm,” Flora said.

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