A change of command ceremony for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa was held at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti on May 26, with U.S. Army Major General Rob Baker relieving U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Michael Franken. Here is a brief introduction to CJTF-HOA:
1) The U.S. government created Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa as part of its overall response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998.
2) CJTF-HOA (pronounced C-J-T-F-Ho-Ah) was established on October 19, 2002, in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The task force then operated out of USS Mount Whitney for a few months, before moving in May 2003 to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti City, Djibouti, where it currently resides. Learn more about the task force’s history here.
3) The mission of CJTF-HOA is to enhance partner-nation capacity, promote regional stability, dissuade conflict, and further U.S. and Coalition interests in East Africa.
4) Service members from each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, civilian employees and representatives of coalition and partner countries serve on behalf of CJTF-HOA.
5) The CJTF-HOA area of operations includes the countries of Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Djibouti, and Seychelles. The CJTF-HOA area of interest includes Yemen, Mauritius, Madagascar, Mozambique, Comoros, Chad, Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
6) CJTF-HOA has supported development by building and renovating numerous schools, clinics and hospitals. (Check out one story about CJTF-HOA dedicating a primary school in Ethiopia.)
8) One of the goals of CJTF-HOA is to assist partner nations in generating their own security and civil-military operational capacities. For example, in April, five personnel assigned to CJTF-HOA traveled to Rwanda to exchange best practices with soldiers from the Rwandan Defense Force during a five-week training course. Read more here.
9) CJTF-HOA uses an indirect, whole-of-government approach to foster partnerships with host nations and regional organizations, increase security capacities, encourage better governance and build trust and confidence among host populations. In the remote area of Karamoja, Uganda, an Army Civil Affairs Team offers training in animal health skills, such as identifying diseases and treating livestock, to help promote development.
10) CJTF-HOA’s capabilities include military-military/law enforcement engagements and training. In May, two members of the CJTF-HOA legal staff visited Tanzania for a symposium. “We learned that the U.S. and Tanzania militaries have many more similarities in military law than differences,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Deegan. “The week was a huge success that we hope transcends to future engagements.” (Click here to read more.)