Vollmecke awards French officer for work in Mali

Maj. Gen. Eric Vollmecke, Air National Guard Mobilization Assistant to Commander USAFE-AFAFRICA, presents Col. JP Fague, Operations chief, French Ground forces in Mali, with the Army Commendation Medal March 20, 2014.

Fague received the award on behalf of U.S. Army Africa for his significant contributions and leadership during Western Accord 13 in Ghana. This exercise, conducted in June, 2013, was to train West African Forces for their follow on UN Mission in Mali. USAFRICOM assigned USARAF as the lead command for Operation Juniper Miron with U.S. Air Forces Africa supporting.

Fague and his staff contributed immeasurably to the training and mission readiness of ECOWAS Forces for their U.N. Peacekeeping operations in Mali. His operational expertise and leadership was the driving element to the overall success of Western Accord 13. As the Exercise Control Group Director, Fague led a multi-national team to train and conduct the most comprehensive and effective Western Accord Exercise ever.

Nearly 300 officers were presented and tested with realistic scenarios based upon Fague's efforts to leverage lessons compiled by his French staff in Mali, and the U.S. Army Officers who worked with both the French and associated African Forces. Fague's keen knowledge and insight of Western Africa greatly enhanced U.S. Army Africa's ability to conduct offensive/defensive operations as well as building partner nation capacity.