“Current CCHAG Support for the US Combatant Commands” presented by CEMML’s Dr. James Zeidler in the symposium New Developments in Cultural Property Protection in Conflict Zones, Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in San Francisco on 6-9 January 2016.
ABSTRACT: The Combatant Command Cultural Heritage Action Group (CCHAG) was established in 2009 as an ad hoc organization of academic professionals, NGOs, DoD civilians, and other interested parties to promote Cultural Property Protection (CPP) awareness within the various DoD Combatant Commands (COCOMs) deployed around the world. This effort has taken the form of CPP training curricula and related educational products as well as technical support in areas such as geospatial data gathering on important cultural heritage sites in conflict areas to ensure that US military forces do not unwittingly damage these resources. This paper addresses two current areas of technical support (a) to US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) in the development of advanced CPP training modules for military legal staff, military engineers, and military intelligence staff, and (b) to US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and US Army Africa in the development of geospatial quality assurance protocols for cultural heritage data collection. Emphasis is placed on the need for this kind of support in full spectrum operations, not just instances of conflict.