Posts Tagged 'CJTF-HOA'

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

JAG Journal, Days 4 & 5: U.S., Tanzanian militaries share more legal similarities than differences

U.S. and Tanzanian military legal members pose for a group photo during the Military Law Symposium held at the Peacekeeping Training Center in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. During the symposium, the two militaries exchanged ideas on legal investigations, introduction to operational law and introduction to military justice. (Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa courtesy photo)

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Deegan and U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Peter Tunis, CJTF-HOA judge advocate generals, and U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Sciapli, USARAF judge advocate general, traveled to East Africa to exchange of legal practices with the Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force.

Here’s the final day-by-day recap of the visit to Dar es Salaam … (Read Day 1 and Days 2 & 3).

Day 4: Operational Law

On day four, U.S. and Tanzanian team members discussed rules of engagement, the law of armed conflict (LOAC) and the role of operational law attorneys in the U.S. military. The LOAC brief addressed the Geneva Conventions and the Hague Convention, strategic misconduct and the code of conduct soldiers are expected to follow in combat. Beyond the international policies that drove the conventions, the benefits of following LOAC were discussed through the lens of adding legitimacy to a nation’s position in a conflict, furthering that nation’s interests.

The participants also weighed in on the rules of engagement and subjecting service members to criminal jurisdiction under the International Criminal Court.

Maj. Shija Lupi, legal officer and military police commander, Tanzanian 603rd Air Transport Station, highlighted issues from one of his deployments to Lebanon.

“ROE should also include cultural awareness for the area where the contingency [force] is going,” said Lupi.

Tunis then gave an overview of Joint Operational Planning Process, ROE working groups, and the Joint Operations Center concept.

The U.S. and TPDF also discussed application of the planning concepts to experiences of U.S. military attorneys at Combined Task Force – Horn of Africa and in Afghanistan.

Day 5: The Tanzanian Military Justice System

On the last day of the symposium, Mbindi facilitated discussion about the Tanzanian Military Justice System. This was followed by one final block of instruction by Deegan on the role of the staff judge advocate.

The TPDF then conducted a ceremony concluding the week’s exchange of legal practices. Each TPDF judge advocate was presented a certificate by their U.S. counterparts for attending the military law symposium, while each of the U.S. participants was presented wood carvings made by local Tanzanian artisans.

Tunis was deeply moved by the gesture.

“The gift was touching and incredibly thoughtful,” said Tunis. “The three of us were humbled by their generosity. You could really relate to the sense of national pride in the gifts they chose. The same way that many Americans feel about buying things that say ‘Made in the USA’ was the same way that the TPDF felt.”

Deegan summed up the traveling contact team’s week-long endeavor.

“We learned that the U.S. and Tanzania militaries have many more similarities in military law than differences,” said Deegan. “The week was a huge success that we hope transcends to future engagements.”

JAG Journal, Day 2 & 3: U.S., Tanzanian military lawyers exchange best practices

Two members of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa legal staff and one U.S. Army Africa legal staff member traveled to East Africa recently to exchange legal practices with the Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force (TPDF) during the Military Law Symposium.

U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Sciapli, U.S. Army Africa judge advocate general, discusses legal practices with two Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force legal officers during the Military Law Symposium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. (Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa courtesy photo)

During Day 1 of symposium, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Deegan and U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Peter Tunis, CJTF-HOA judge advocate generals, and U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Sciapli, USARAF judge advocate general, were welcomed by Tanzanian legal officers.

Here’s Part II of the day-by-day recap of the engagement between the two groups of military lawyers … (Read Day 1).

Day 2: Military Justice and Non-Judicial Punishment

Throughout the week, the U.S. and TPDF teams discovered ways in which both of their military law systems were largely similar, with many of the differences being in name only.

Attorneys for the TPDF are normally called “legal officers” and their title changes to “judge advocate” only when they are assigned to work court-martials.

Lt. Sebastian Mwaka Lindile, a Tanzanian legal officer, asked these questions of his U.S. counterparts: “Do you have a law or policy on adultery or matters of marriage?” and “Can an officer marry an enlisted person, like a private?”

Deegan and Tunis used personal experiences from previous cases to illustrate adultery and fraternization under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, along with relevant service regulations on fraternization.

Maj. Shija Lupi, legal officer and military police commander, Tanzanian 603rd Air Transport Station, shared the equivalent TPDF policy.

“Adultery is strongly prohibited. A court of inquiry would be convened and the soldier would be administratively released [in a case of substantiated adultery],” said Lupi.

Day 3: Claims and Investigations

Sciapli took the baton for day three to discuss different types of claims and investigations. The TPDF listened to his experiences running a claims office in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and working as the Claims Commission for USARAF. Several of the TPDF also had extensive experience with investigations. Their system assigns the responsibility of being an investigating officer to legal officers, as opposed to the U.S. system, which appoints an officer who may seek assistance from a judge advocate.

The TPDF then shared information about their claims system and some of the issues that arise operating in a coalition environment with international organizations.

Sharing experiences from a deployment to Lebanon, Capt. Zakayo Kazya, TPDF legal officer, said, “Our claims are based on U.N. procedures…. However, there are differences between our investigations and those conducted by the U.N. The U.N. will investigate with their police, but they do not assign fault. A Tanzanian police officer can assign fault, and money can be deducted from a soldier’s pay if he is grossly negligent.”

Another experience shared by the TPDF’s Lt. Noah Bonaventura Kong’oa illustrated one of the major differences between the Tanzanian and U.S. systems.

“I practice a lot of probate law,” said Kong’oa. “Most people here die intestate [that is, without a will]. There is often disagreement over which type of law to apply. Some want customary law, some want statutory, and some want Islamic law. We use a ‘mode of living’ test to determine which set of laws to apply.”

As an example of the “mode of living” test, if a man lived the life of a Maasai warrior and went through the Emuratare ceremony (a rite of passage to become a warrior upon reaching puberty that involves circumcision), and he practiced Maasai traditions until he died, the customary law of the Maasai would apply to distributing his estate. The Tanzanian legal officer helps make this determination for deceased service members.

Legal assistance services in the U.S. military, however, do not extend into the probate process beyond creating wills.

Stay tuned for the final Days 4 and 5  …

JAG Journal, Day 1: Sharing knowledge with our counterparts in Tanzania

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)

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – Two members of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa legal staff and one U.S. Army Africa legal staff member recently attended the Military Law Symposium at the Peacekeeping Training Center here as part of a traveling contact team.

U.S. Army Lt. Col. Michael Deegan and U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Peter Tunis, CJTF-HOA judge advocate generals, and U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Sciapli, USARAF judge advocate general, went to Dar es Salaam for an exchange of legal practices with the Tanzanian Peoples’ Defense Force.

The team’s visit, which had been requested by the Tanzanian military, informed Tanzanian legal officers and aviation officers of U.S. military law, legal best practices, and the role Judge Advocate General Corps Officers play in advising military commanders on operational law and legal issues. The event highlighted discussions on investigations, introduction to operational law and introduction to military justice.

When the team stepped off of the plane into the humid, 88-degree heat, they had some concerns and anxieties normally associated with visiting a country for the first time. How would they be received? Would their instruction be on point with what the Tanzanian military was looking for? Would there be language barrier issues? Most Tanzanians speak English as a third language, with tribal languages and Swahili as their first and second.

Here’s a day-by-day recap of the engagement between the two groups of military lawyers …

Day 1: How to Train and Use a JAG

On the morning drive through the buzzing metropolis, each city block was packed with thousands of Tanzanians conducting their morning commute on foot, bicycles, and in various rickshaws, cars, and ornately-detailed minibuses.

When they arrived at the Peacekeeping Training Center, the team received a warm welcome from the TPDF. Tanzanian Lt. Col. Mbindi, his supporting staff, and the TPDF judge advocates in attendance quickly put one of the Americans’ main concerns to rest―they all spoke English. After a formal ceremony that included a speech from the installation’s commanding officer, everyone gave a personal introduction.

The team’s introductions included not just their areas of legal experience, but also mentioned their families. The Tanzanians introduced themselves, and every married man in the TPDF made a point to say, “I love my wife very much.”

“Having been away from my wife for the better part of six months, the TPDF’s introductions were very endearing. They triggered a response in my internal dialogue that was pushing me to express ‘I love my wife, too!’” said Tunis.

Tunis gave the first block of instruction, which discussed examples of the U.S. process for training and educating judge advocates. For a U.S. Marine Corps JAG officer, this eight-year process includes getting a bachelor’s degree followed by a law degree, taking a bar exam, and graduating Officer Candidate School, The Basic School, and Naval Justice School.

The Tanzanian model for the initial training of a judge advocate involves fewer steps. An individual who wants to practice law can go directly to law school upon finishing primary school, which is the Tanzanian equivalent of a U.S. high school.

Deegan then provided instruction on how U.S. commanders can use JAGs―and not only in their decision-making process on legal matters.

“JAGs should be used as military attorneys, but that doesn’t mean they can’t road march, learn to operate an armored vehicle, fire heavy weapon systems or participate in battle drills or exercises,” Deegan said.

He stressed that JAGs do not merely provide legal opinions.

“Training has taught JAGs not just the laws and statutes, but how to systematically approach problem solving,” said Deegan.

Stay tuned for Day 2 later this week …

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).

Around the Horn

On 1/27/2010 12:50:44 PM General William “Kip” Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command wrote:

Hello Teammates,

I just returned from a quick trip to Djibouti to visit our teammates at Camp Lemonnier and the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa where it was a mere 86 degrees when I arrived.

As I said, it was a quick trip but one I wanted to make to thank Rear Admiral Tony Kurta and his core staff members for the superlative work they have done over the past year. The outgoing core staff is made up of approximately 60 personnel, mostly Sailors, serving on the CJTF-HOA team for one year tours in Djibouti. They train for two weeks in Norfolk prior to arriving and beginning their sojourn in one of the most strategic locations in the world — the Horn of Africa. 

This group is the first core staff to work their entire tour under the command and control of U.S. Africa Command. They did an absolutely fantastic job of working with AFRICOM staff, interagency and international partners to help build the security capacity of the militaries of 13 East African nations. The work they do contributes to regional stability through cooperative security which leads to peace and prosperity for the people of Africa. The core staff is but one small element that supports the magnificent work of CJTF-HOA, but since their replacements are due to arrive soon and as they depart for their homes, families and new adventures, it made sense to me to stop in to see them.

Another group that I had the pleasure of meeting with and speaking to was the 1-65 Infantry Battalion from Puerto Rico National Guard. This unit is deployed to Djibouti to perform the force protection function at Camp Lemonnier for one year. During my time with this great group of Soldiers I had the honor to promote three of their number from the rank of Specialist to Sergeant. Sergeants Moreno-Leon, Reyes-Martinez, and Pizon join the ranks of the non-commissioned officer corps – defining element of our military. I spent the rest of my time with these great Americans, thanking them for their service to our nation and to Africa Command. Through their selfless dedication to duty, Africa and the world community is a better place.

This quick trip reminded me that these men and women and many others like them selflessly serve our great nation, in Africa and in many other places on earth, with very little recognition. It is important that I thank them and, through this blog, thank those who love and support those serving in places close to and far away from home. I consider it an honor.

U.S. Army Gen. William "Kip" Ward, commander, U.S. Africa Command, speaks with the 1st Battalion 65th Infantry Regiment Puerto Rico National Guard, Jan. 26.


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