Posts Tagged 'Horn of Africa'

Gen. Ham explains: How are food security and AFRICOM linked?

Why did U.S. Africa Command chief General Carter F. Ham speak at a recent National Defense University program about food security in the Horn of Africa?

“Some of you might be wondering: What in the world is a military commander, the commander of U.S. Africa Command, doing talking in the morning in Washington D.C. in a food security conference?” Ham asked the audience of government representatives, academics and others with an interest in the issue.

“We can all agree that the specific issue of food security and overall stability are inextricably linked.”

Ham pointed out that food shortages can quickly lead to population displacement, limitations on future development and even conflict over scarce resources. Those things, in turn, can cause regional instability and even transnational threats, Ham said.

And that’s where AFRICOM comes in.

“The United States, and thusly the United States military, has a significant interest in supporting stability and security efforts across the continent of Africa,” Ham said.

Ham pointed out that AFRICOM plays a limited direct role in promoting food security initiatives. But the command does support the work of many aid agencies who work to eliminate food crises, such as USAID and the World Health Organization.

In addition, AFRICOM works with partner nations on the continent to improve food security and better prepare them to respond to food crises or other disasters. For example, Ham said, a training exercise last year between AFRICOM veterinarians and Ugandan veterinarians treated 30,000 head of livestock in six days, and trained local herdsman on how to better care for their animals.

Another initiative involved teaching soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo – who often turn to pillaging local farms for sustenance – how to grow their own food. These “soldier-farmers” feed their comrades while on duty.

“It really does take a whole of government approach and a regional approach to achieve the desired outcome, which is ultimately saving lives and the establishment of stability and security in the region,” Ham said.

Share your thoughts – what do you think is the biggest food crisis facing Africa right now and what are some possible solutions?

Click here to read more about the NDU program on food security. Also be sure to visit our AFRICOM home  page to learn about the command and issues affecting our area of operations.

Survey results: Sailor reenlisting is the favorite AFRICOM photo from February!

Congratulations to photographer Staff Sergeant Joseph A. Araiza!

Staff Sergeant Araiza’s photo was the runaway favorite for February photos in the area of responsibility for the U.S. Africa Command. Check out his terrific photo below of U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Geoff Shepelew reenlisting underwater off the coast of Djibouti.

This photo gathered 78% of the total votes, counting both online survey votes and blog comments. View the other contenders here.

Thanks to everyone for voting! Feel free to post photos you like relating to AFRICOM in March on our Facebook page, and look for the next photo survey in a month.

Serviccemember reenlists underwater

The winning photo

Off Djibouti: Sailor reenlists underwater

GULF OF TADJOURA, Djibouti (Feb. 12, 2012) – U.S. Navy Lieutenant Scott Pennoyer reads (right) U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Geoff Shepelew, both of the 221st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2, the Oath of Enlistment off the coast of Moucha Island, Djibouti, February 12. Shepelew chose to reenlist underwater while during his deployment to the Horn of Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Joseph A. Araiza)

Vote for the Best AFRICOM Photo of February

Here are a few of our favorite photos from February. Vote for your favorite here or use the survey in the pop-up window!

USS Simpson arrives in Dakar for refueling

Senegal: USS Simpson arrives in Dakar for refueling

120207-N-IZ292-203: DAKAR, Senegal (Feb. 7, 2012) – Electronics Technician 3rd Class Jonathan Salas heaves a mooring line to a tugboat as the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) arrives in Dakar for refueling. Simpson, homeported out of Mayport, Fla., is currently conducting theater security cooperation and maritime security operations in the Naval Forces Africa area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Felicito Rustique/Released)

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Eleventh Marine Expeditionary Unit trains in Horn of Africa region

Eleventh Marine Expeditionary Unit trains in Horn of Africa region

Lance Cpl. Scott King takes a break during a patrol Jan. 29. The 19-year-old Riding Sun, Md., native operates an M88A2 recovery vehicle with Combat Logistics Battalion 11. The battalion provides logistics and services for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The unit is currently deployed as part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, a U.S. Central Command theater reserve force providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet area of responsibility.

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USS Simpson community service project in Lagos

Nigeria: USS Simpson sailors distribute books as part of Africa Partnership Station (APS)

LAGOS, Nigeria (Feb. 16, 2012) – Musician 3rd Class Andrew Francisco, assigned to the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe Band, plays the saxophone for school children from the Tomaro Junior Secondary School, while books were distributed by Sailors from the guided-missile frigate USS Simpson (FFG 56) in support of Africa Partnership Station (APS) 2012. APS is an international security cooperation initiative facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, aimed at strengthening global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities in order to improve maritime safety and security in Africa. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Felicito Rustique/Released)

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Serviccemember reenlists underwater

Off Djibouti: Sailor reenlists underwater

GULF OF TADJOURA, Djibouti (Feb. 12, 2012) – U.S. Navy Lieutenant Scott Pennoyer reads (right) U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Geoff Shepelew, both of the 221st Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 2, the Oath of Enlistment off the coast of Moucha Island, Djibouti, February 12. Shepelew chose to reenlist underwater while during his deployment to the Horn of Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sergeant Joseph A. Araiza)

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Djibouti: U.S. military checks on wells

ALI ADDE, Djibouti (Feb. 9, 2012) – Villagers demonstrate how to draw water from a community well they dug by hand to U.S. Army Sergeant Major Richard Erickson, U.S. Army 257th Engineer Team 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)

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Mali: Atlas Accord 2012

MOPTI, MALI — A Malian Air Force BT-67 drops helicopter boxes as part of aerial re-supply training during operation Atlas Accord near Mopti, Mali on Feb. 13, 2012. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Mark Henderson)

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Which photo is your favorite? Vote here!

USAFRICOM-related news stories for April 19, 2010 (From the Beltway/From and About Africa)

Recent Publications on Horn of Africa, Sudan, Somalia, Madagascar, CAR, Mali, Darfur, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Algeria, DR Congo, Sierra Leone

To fight pirate scourge, follow the money: US admiral (AFP)

WASHINGTON — International efforts against pirates off the Horn of Africa need to target the money extorted from commercial ships, a senior US Navy officer said on Thursday.

Zimbabwe Marks 30 Years of Independence (Associated Press)

HARARE, Zimbabwe — Zimbabwe on Sunday marks 30 years of the rule of President Robert Mugabe, swept to power during the country’s heady and optimistic independence in 1980.

Navy looks for answers after Seebee dies from malaria (Stars and Stripes)

HEIDELBERG, Germany — Although scores of U.S. troops are infected every year by malaria — 60 were diagnosed last year, and about 150 were diagnosed in 2003 — Joshua Dae Ho Carrell is just the second to die of the disease in more than a decade, according to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

For additional relevant articles of interest, go to: &

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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.

AFRICOM-related news clips for 11 January 2010

Obama Plays Down Military Role in Yemen, Somalia

 New York Times – By Sarah Wheaton

 11 January 2010

US President Barack Obama said his administration is seeking to emphasize international cooperation, rather than military action, to address concerns about terrorist cells in Somalia and Yemen.


 Bomb plot strains US Nigeria relations

 AFP – By Non-attributed Author

 8 January 2010

 US security measures in the wake of a failed bomb attack on an American airline have revealed cracks in relations between the US and Nigeria, a strategic ally in Africa.


 Bomb plot suspect’s odyssey revealing

 Pittsburgh Tribune- Review – By Carl Prine

 10 January 2010

Christmas Day bombing suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab took a convoluted path which is a prime example of the challenges facing counter-terrorism efforts, including AFRICOM’s counter-terrorism program Operation Enduring Freedom Trans-Sahara.


 US Dept of Defense – African Counterterrorism Gets Greater Focus

 American Forces Press Service – By John J. Kruzel

 7 January 2010

 Counterterrorism in Africa is spotlighted after a botched terrorist attack on a holiday flight.  This includes AFRICOM’s capacity building efforts on the continent to deal with transnational problems like combating terrorism.


P-3s join pirate patrol in the Seychelles

 Navy Times – By Andrew Tilghman

 8 January 2010

 A detachment of P-3 Orions has moved to the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean to conduct surveillance missions that support U.S. Africa Command’s goal in promoting stability and security within the region.


US welcomes moves in Guinea to form transition government

AFP – By Non-attributed Author

8 January 2010

 The United States welcomed moves by Guinea’s interim junta leader to form a transition government and advance to civilian rule over a year after the military seized power in a coup.


U.S. pushes Sudan on election preparations

 Reuters – By Non-attributed Author

 8 January 2010

 Sudan’s leaders must redouble efforts to guarantee fair elections or risk plunging the giant African nation back into chaos and violence, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Friday.


U.S. warns of attack threat to Sudan-Uganda flights

 Reuters – By Andrew Heavens

 9 January 2010

 The United States has warned that "regional extremists" were planning an attack on Air Uganda flights between southern Sudan and Kampala.  Both Uganda and Sudan downplayed the risk.


U.S., NATO Expand Afghan War To Horn Of Africa And Indian Ocean News – By Rick Rozoff

 8 January 2010

The United States and its NATO allies have laid the groundwork for increased naval, air and ground operations in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf of Aden.


UN News Service Africa Briefs

 Full Articles on UN Website

 10 January 2010

 *     Success of Sudan peace pact requires redoubled efforts by all, Ban says on anniversary

*     Sudan: UN sends long range patrol to scene of deadly ethnic clash in south

*     UN completes initial round of training for local judges in eastern Chad

*     UN aid agencies will not abandon Somalia despite insecurity, says official

*     Celebrities set off for Kilimanjaro to spotlight water crisis, raise funds – UN

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