CJTF-HOA validates EARF mission

U.S. Army Spc. Kenneth Cook, of the East African Response Force, sits inside a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules while awaiting transport during an EARF validation exercise, May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa planned and executed the validation after  1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, or Task Force Hurricane, from Miami, Fla., assumed responsibility of the EARF mission from 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, or Task Force Seminoles, who will return to Orlando, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image U.S. Army Spc. Kenneth Cook, of the East African Response Force, sits inside a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules while awaiting transport during an EARF validation exercise, May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa planned and executed the validation after 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, or Task Force Hurricane, from Miami, Fla., assumed responsibility of the EARF mission from 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, or Task Force Seminoles, who will return to Orlando, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
U.S. Army Pfc. Cory Middleton, an East African Response Force member, prepares to fly inside a C-130J Hercules during an EARF validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.  The goal of the exercise was to test Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s ability to rapidly deploy forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image U.S. Army Pfc. Cory Middleton, an East African Response Force member, prepares to fly inside a C-130J Hercules during an EARF validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The goal of the exercise was to test Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s ability to rapidly deploy forces. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Raul Lopez, East African Response Force, takes accountability as Soldiers board a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.  Composed primarily of Soldiers, the EARF functions as a joint response unit, employing troops from across the services to accomplish the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Raul Lopez, East African Response Force, takes accountability as Soldiers board a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Composed primarily of Soldiers, the EARF functions as a joint response unit, employing troops from across the services to accomplish the mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
Members of the East African Response Force board a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules during an EARF validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The exercise scenario tested Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s ability to rapidly stage and deploy the EARF during a crisis in the East Africa region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image Members of the East African Response Force board a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules during an EARF validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The exercise scenario tested Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s ability to rapidly stage and deploy the EARF during a crisis in the East Africa region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
Tons of cargo and passengers are loaded on to a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules during an East African Response Force validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The mission of the EARF is to provide rapidly deployable assets at a moment’s notice to reinforce embassies within the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image Tons of cargo and passengers are loaded on to a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules during an East African Response Force validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The mission of the EARF is to provide rapidly deployable assets at a moment’s notice to reinforce embassies within the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa area of responsibility. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
A U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules rests on the airfield in preparation for cargo and passengers to be transported during an East African Response Force validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.  The Hercules and its crewmembers are deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image A U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules rests on the airfield in preparation for cargo and passengers to be transported during an East African Response Force validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The Hercules and its crewmembers are deployed from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
Members of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa’s East African Response Force check and pack gear before loading onto an aircraft during an EARF exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.  CJTF-HOA planned and executed the validation after  1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, or Task Force Hurricane, from Miami, Fla., assumed responsibility of the EARF mission from  2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, or Task Force Seminole, who will return to Orlando, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image Members of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa’s East African Response Force check and pack gear before loading onto an aircraft during an EARF exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. CJTF-HOA planned and executed the validation after 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, or Task Force Hurricane, from Miami, Fla., assumed responsibility of the EARF mission from 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, or Task Force Seminole, who will return to Orlando, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
U.S. Army Cpl. Neal Fitzgerald, an East African Response Force member, checks a weapon sight before packing and equipping gear for an EARF validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The EARF is regionally aligned with Africa, specifically the Horn of Africa region; it’s key to   Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s mission to strengthen East African partner nation militaries by conducting crisis response and personnel recovery, supporting U.S. military, diplomatic and civilian personnel throughout East Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image U.S. Army Cpl. Neal Fitzgerald, an East African Response Force member, checks a weapon sight before packing and equipping gear for an EARF validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The EARF is regionally aligned with Africa, specifically the Horn of Africa region; it’s key to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s mission to strengthen East African partner nation militaries by conducting crisis response and personnel recovery, supporting U.S. military, diplomatic and civilian personnel throughout East Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
U.S. Army Pfc. Austin King, an East African Response Force member, checks the serial number on a shotgun in preparation to forward deploy during an EARF validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.  The validation exercise was executed to test Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s ability to rapidly deploy assets in a crisis scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image U.S. Army Pfc. Austin King, an East African Response Force member, checks the serial number on a shotgun in preparation to forward deploy during an EARF validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The validation exercise was executed to test Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s ability to rapidly deploy assets in a crisis scenario. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
A case of meals ready-to-eat is packed onto a pallet in preparation to forward deploy during an East African Response Force exercise March 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.  Tons of MREs and water were packed and loaded onto a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image A case of meals ready-to-eat is packed onto a pallet in preparation to forward deploy during an East African Response Force exercise March 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Tons of MREs and water were packed and loaded onto a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
U.S. Army Spc.  Tien Do, an East African Response Force member, packs cases of water to forward deploy during an EARF exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The EARF serves as a quick reaction force and is an asset to bring stability to the East Africa region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image U.S. Army Spc. Tien Do, an East African Response Force member, packs cases of water to forward deploy during an EARF exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The EARF serves as a quick reaction force and is an asset to bring stability to the East Africa region. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)
U.S. Army Cpl. Lavon Smith and Spc. Tien Do, East African Response Force members, build pallets to store supplies and equipment during an EARF validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The pallets containing tons of sustainment items were loaded for transport on to a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image U.S. Army Cpl. Lavon Smith and Spc. Tien Do, East African Response Force members, build pallets to store supplies and equipment during an EARF validation exercise May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The pallets containing tons of sustainment items were loaded for transport on to a U.S. Air Force C-130J Hercules aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Eric Summers Jr.)

The U.S. Army’s 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment recently completed a validation exercise confirming Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa’s ability to plan and support the East African Response Force mission May 27, 2016, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

CJTF-HOA planned and executed the validation after the 1st Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, or Task Force Hurricane, from Miami, Fla., assumed responsibility of the EARF mission from the 2nd Battalion, 124th Infantry Regiment, or Task Force Seminoles, who will return to Orlando, Fla.

The exercise, which began with an early morning no-notice recall, focused on the Hurricanes’ ability to quickly ready and mobilize the EARF in response to a crisis scenario.

“The EARF is a rifle infantry company that is on standby for a short notification to deploy rapidly in response to a crisis in a permissive environment,” said Capt. Bryan Hotchkiss, EARF Company commander. “We are to deploy in a permissive environment in order to reinforce embassies within our Horn of Africa area of operation, or facilitate a military assist and control. “

The U.S. Army developed the regionally aligned forces initiative to provide combatant commanders with rapidly deployable forces, which can relocate anywhere in the world at a moment's notice. The EARF is regionally aligned with Africa, specifically the HOA region, and key to the CJTF-HOA mission to strengthen East African partner nation militaries by conducting crisis response and personnel recovery supporting U.S. military, diplomatic and civilian personnel throughout East Africa.

“They need our protection, and it is necessary for when situations become uncertain,” Hotchkiss explained. “Because we have identified that our diplomatic missions in this region are important and [the assets we provide] are essential for them to maintain their diplomatic presence.”

Though comprised primarily of Soldiers, the EARF functions as a joint response unit, employing troops from across the services to accomplish the mission. For example, the U.S. Navy provides Explosive Ordnance Disposal capabilities and the U.S. Air Force provides air support and rapid transport for the response forces. This joint culture is vital to CJTF-HOA’s mission of providing peace and stability to the region.

“Multiple services participated today in this exercise to include Air Force [Joint Terminal Attack Controllers], Navy EOD, The Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa staff in order to facilitate, load and deploy the EARF in a crisis response scenario,” Hotchkiss said.

Pfc. Cory Middleton, EARF Company 2nd Platoon radio telephone operator, said that he feels this mission is a huge honor and that for him, EARF is about staying prepared.

“Basically our mission is preparedness, if anything was to ever go down, we need to be prepared, we need to be ready to go,” Middleton said. “The purpose of the EARF, is that we are supposed to be ready if we ever get called to go to an embassy or if anything ever goes down, we are ready to fight.” 

Tags

Exercise CJTF-HOA Africa Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Army infantry Air Force military Navy Horn of Africa HOA CJTF battalion East Africa Response Force EARF

We suggest

Incoming EARF completes validation, demonstrates crisis response capability

Within hours of being notified, CJTF-HOA’s East Africa Response Force prepared dozens of Soldiers and tons of supplies for takeoff during an emergency response exercise, validating the EARF’s rapid response capabilities.