Ombudsman Newsletter: The Gift of Hope and Freedom

The holiday spirit is alive in Africa! The trees are up and decorated with everything from traditional ornaments to college football trinkets. Holiday music is playing and brightly-colored lights shine from the Containerized Living Units where many of our people live. Though it's not the same as sharing the holidays with our families, we know that here in Africa we are sharing this special time with our shipmates and partners from African nations and from around the world. We are sharing our time and talents with the people of Eastern Africa, giving them the gift of hope for a better, more secure future.

As we work with our partners to build their capacity to provide for their own security, we are also making our country and our families more secure back home. We see it as the gift of freedom for everyone.

Peace and hope are what the holidays are all about. As we celebrate this season, I thank all of you for your tremendous support.

Happy Holidays!

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11th MEU spends Valentine's on the range

A remote cove near Arta Beach in Djibouti provides a safe live-fire weapons range for U.S. Marine Corps members with Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, Feb.14, 2017. Training time on the range allows Marines to maintain their respective skills and proficiencies.

Lt. Gen. Sir John Lorimer visits Camp Lemonnier

British Army Lt. Gen. Sir John Lorimer, chief of joint operations for Permanent Joint Headquarters in Great Britain meets with U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Kurt Sonntag, commanding general of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti Feb. 21, 2017, while conducting a visit of U.K. military members serving in the Horn of Africa. The meeting allowed Lorimer to better understand U.S. plans for aiding with the stability and security of Somalia. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Paul Gorman)

A joint approach to field sanitation

Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines gathered to take part in a week-long Field Sanitation Team Training course at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Feb. 13-17, 2017.

Combat Patch Ceremony

U.S. Soldiers assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa's operations directorate are presented with the U.S. Africa Command combat patch during a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

Sailors prioritize deployed fitness

U.S. Navy personnel assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa took to the AstroTurf Feb. 24, 2017 to practice for their first Physical Fitness Assessment while deployed to Camp Lemonnier.