New U.S. AFRICOM Commander Visits Djibouti in First Trip to Africa
Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commander of U.S. Africa Command, visited Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, April 16-18, as part of his first trip to Africa less than 2 weeks after taking command.
Rodriguez, who took command of U.S. AFRICOM April 5, met with deployed troops and presided over the assumption of command ceremony for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
"I appreciate everything you're doing. This is the only place we have an enduring base on the African continent, so CJTF-HOA is becoming increasingly important," said the general during an all-hands at Camp Lemonnier on April 16.
U.S. AFRICOM's third commander since the command's inception in 2008, Rodriguez noted that Africa is becoming more and more important.
"Africa and its future are very important to our nation and the world," said the general.
As a result of focused, sustained engagement with East African nations in the form of operations, exercises and security cooperation, CJTF-HOA is meeting Africa-U.S. shared security objectives - and Rodriguez praised the audience of service members and civilians for its success developing partner-nation relationships that have provided the U.S. the benefit of what he called "small footprint, high payoff operations."
"The way AFRICOM, CJTF-HOA and others in Africa have done business over the past several years has set the standard for future operations across all combatant commands," he said.
At the CJTF-HOA assumption of command on April 18, the USAFRICOM commander reiterated how the service members and civilians deployed in support of CJTF-HOA are making a difference in supporting East Africa build a better future.
"The efforts of the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Civilians of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa are critical in supporting the nations of east Africa as they strengthen their defense capabilities and regional cooperation," the general said.
In the Horn of Africa, CJTF-HOA is U.S. AFRICOM's operational command and conducts operations in the region to enhance partner-nation capacity, promote regional security and stability, dissuade conflict, and protect U.S. and coalition interests. Overall, CJTF-HOA is critical to U.S. AFRICOM's efforts to build partner capacity to counter violent extremists and address other regional security challenges. With approximately 2,000 personnel assigned, CJTF-HOA is headquartered at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, the U.S. military's only enduring location in Africa.
To see the video click here.