Archive for the 'CJTF-HOA' Category

10 Things about CJTF-HOA

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.)

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Peter Tunis, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa judge advocate general, right, converses with a Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force legal officer during the Military Law Symposium held at the Peacekeeping Training Center. Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa courtesy photo)

7) Staff members from CJTF-HOA have also helped with clean-up projects and distributing school supplies in support of local residents of Djibouti.

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.)

Sources: CJTF-HOA

Africa Snapshot: Djibouti

Located on the Horn of Africa, the Republic of Djibouti shares borders with Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia.  The country sits on the Bab el Mandeb Strait, which separates the Red Sea from the Gulf of Aden. Djibouti gained its independence from France on June 27, 1977, but keeps close ties with the European nation.  More than 75% of its population lives in urban areas.

Population: According to the CIA Factbook, the estimated population for July 2012 will be 774,389. The entire country is almost as big as the state of Massachusetts.

Languages: Most Djiboutians are multilingual; Arabic and French are the official languages of Djibouti, but Somali is the most widely spoken language. Afar is spoken in the Afar areas.

Religion: 94% of the population is Muslim, while 6% is Christian.

History: Early history of Djibouti was recorded through poems and songs. The earliest natives traded hides and skins for perfumes and other goods with people in Egypt, India and China.  Because of its proximity to the Arabian Peninsula,

the Somali and Afar tribes were the first on the continent to adopt Islam.

The French became increasingly interested in the area, then named French Somaliland, after the Suez Canal opened in 1869.    Trade flourished, and a new Franco-Ethiopian railway further increased trade relations. France struggled to maintain control of the region; after reorganizing, the colony was almost completely self-governed in the late 1950s.  In 1977, the colony became the Republic of Djibouti, and Hassan Gouled Aptidon was elected  the first president.  Djibouti still remains close to France, which provides economic aid and security.

Djibouti is the headquarters for the European Union’s “Atalanta” naval task force, which aids in the fight against piracy off the coast of Somalia. 

Economy: With few natural resources and little industry, Djibouti relies heavily on banking, telecommunications and trade. Due to its ideal location and status as a free-trade zone, Djibouti is considered to be the trade hub in the Horn of Africa. It is quite reliant on imported consumer products.  The Djibouti-Addis Abba railway is a crucial source of revenue for the country, especially since more than three-fifths of Djibouti’s workforce is unemployed.

Relationship with the United States: Djibouti has maintained a healthy relationship with the United States since its independence in 1977.  The U.S. has been instrumental in providing humanitarian aid to the country, particularly in famine relief.  In 2002, Djibouti agreed to host an American military presence of about 2,200 at Camp Lemonnier, a former French base.  The USAID’s Food for Peace program has a warehouse for pre-positioned emergency food relief in Djibouti.  It is the only one of its kind outside of the continental United States.


Sources: CIA Factbook , Brittanica Online , U.S. Department of State Background Note – Djibouti

All about CJTF-HOA

This is our third in a series of posts this week looking at some of AFRICOM’s component commands. Component commands are one part of a joint command like AFRICOM, which draws from all services and military specialties. Previously this week, we introduced you to U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) and U.S. Air Forces Africa. Today we look at our largest component, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.

History & Location Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa was first established at Camp Lejeune, N.C., on Oct. 19, 2002, and was part of Operation Enduring Freedom. The task force moved to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti in May 2003.

Staff About 2,000 personnel are assigned to CJTF-HOA, including service members from each branch of the U.S. military, civilians, and representatives of coalition and partner countries.

Leadership Rear Admiral Michael T. Franken has served as the commander of CJTF-HOA since May 2011. His previous position was vice director, Strategy, Plans, and Policy (J5) at U.S. Central Command since 2008. Read his bio here.

Countries of focus 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.

U.S. military checks on Djibouti wells

ALI ADDE, Djibouti (Feb. 9, 2012) – A local villager describes the usefulness and value of fresh water as U.S. Army Sergeant Major Richard Erickson, U.S. Army 257th Engineer Team, draws water from a well here, February 9. The 257th Engineer Team, in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, is visiting Ali Adde to conduct analysis of wells drilled by the U.S. military to assess their performance. Site data will help shape future water well-drilling operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Joseph A. Araiza/Released)

Mission  CJTF-HOA conducts operations to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional stability, dissuade conflict, and protect U.S. and coalition interests.

Supporting development CJTF-HOA works with U.S. government agencies, especially Department of State and USAID, to support development in a wide variety of ways, including building and renovating schools, clinics and hospitals and supporting water resource development and waste management.

Recent events:

Key Engagement between Kenyan, U.S. Senior Enlisted Leaders The event, held at Camp Lemonnier on March 26-29, 2012, was hosted by CJTF-HOA Senior Enlisted Leader Chief Master Sergeant James E. Davis. The purpose of the visit, according to Davis, was to build partner nation capacity with Kenya’s senior enlisted leadership by demonstrating how U.S. enlisted members use their roles and responsibilities and the chain of command to execute the mission and take care of their people. full story | photos

U.S. Army 490th Civil Affairs Battalion Teaches Field Sanitation at Camp Lemonnier “The course is designed to help unit commanders protect their soldiers from food-, water-, air- and insect-borne diseases, as well as noise and inhalation hazards. It also teaches you how to properly apply pesticides and inspect for general food sanitation,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andre Moxley, 490th CABN FxSP preventive medicine non-commissioned officer and lead instructor for the course. full story | photos | video

Water drilling tests in Djibouti  “The wells are part of a study to determine if pulling water from a beach aquifer is a viable option for removing Camp Lemonnier from the Djiboutian Fresh Water Aquifer and leaving that resource solely for the Djiboutians,” said U.S. Army Captain Joseph Bzdok, 257th Engineer Team commander. full story | photos

Interested in learning more?  Visit the CJTF-HOA homepage or follow them on Facebook or Twitter (@CJTFHOA).


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