CJTF-HOA bids Farewell to Deputy Commander

Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa senior leaders (from left), U.S. Air Force Col. James Kriesel, Chief of Staff, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Alexander Krongard, Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Wayne Grigsby, Commanding General and U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bonnie Skinner, Senior Enlisted Leader, pose for a picture at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Jan. 1, 2015. Krongard ends his one year assignment to CJTF-HOA with a Transition of Authority ceremony on Jan 16. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie) CJTF-HOA Senior Leaders pose for a Picture at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Jan. 1, 2015 Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa senior leaders (from left), U.S. Air Force Col. James Kriesel, Chief of Staff, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Alexander Krongard, Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Wayne Grigsby, Commanding General and U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Bonnie Skinner, Senior Enlisted Leader, pose for a picture at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Jan. 1, 2015. Krongard ends his one year assignment to CJTF-HOA with a Transition of Authority ceremony on Jan 16. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie)

Retired U.S. Army General Norman Schwarzkopf once said, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character.”  The Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa is privileged to have had this type of leadership over the past year.

On Jan. 16, 2015, Rear Adm. Alexander Krongard ends his assignment with CJTF-HOA during the Transition of Authority ceremony, after serving one year as CJTF-HOA Deputy Commander. Although he is leaving the command, the positive impact of Krongard’s leadership will resonate long after his departure.

“Rear Admiral Krongard has been an inspiration and an expert leader to the men and women of CJTF-HOA,” said Maj. Gen. Wayne Grigsby, CJTF-HOA Commander. “In my 31 years of military service I have never met a finer flag officer.”

Krongard came to CJTF-HOA from the National Security Staff in Washington, D.C., where he served as a counterterrorism director. This experience, coupled with his Special Operation Forces background, prepared Krongard for the challenges and complexities of operating in East Africa. As CJTF-HOA Deputy Commander, Krongard was responsible for planning and executing missions in 11 African countries in an area covering 2.4 million square miles.

“Rear Admiral Krongard’s strategic, operational and tactical expertise had an immediate and intense impact in fostering the regional approach to security and military capabilities and capacities,” Grigsby explained.

Krongard’s leadership was critical in building regional capacity to counter violent extremism in support of the African Union Mission to Somalia. His efforts created vast improvements to all aspects of East Africa operations, including military-to-military training, civil military and humanitarian operations. He utilized his knowledge and experience to create a narrative on the complexities of Somalia that was disseminated throughout the East Africa region. His innovative approach led directly to the creation of the Fusion Action Cell, bringing officers from African partner nations together in one location to facilitate the free flow of information.

Additionally, Krongard’s operational and strategic vision was essential in implementing plans to protect U.S. interests in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His actions directly led to the first-ever deployment of the East African Response Force to Juba, South Sudan, to protect U.S. Embassy personnel and facilities during escalating violence in the region.

On assignment at CJTF-HOA, Krongard faced numerous challenges as East Africa presents a complex environment that requires flexibility and innovation to conduct successful military operations. Krongard’s list of accomplishments is testimony to his leadership, perseverance, vision and expertise. The list is even more impressive considering he often served as CJTF-HOA commander while the commanding general was engaged in frequent continent-wide travel.

Although he is departing CJTF-HOA, Krongard’s contributions to the AFRICOM mission are far from complete. His next assignment is to USAFRICOM Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, where he will serve as J-3 Deputy Director.

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