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United States Africa Command

United States Africa Command

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The United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM) is one of nine Unified Combatant Command
Unified Combatant Command
A Unified Combatant Command is a United States Department of Defense command that is composed of forces from at least two Military Departments and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of...

s of the United States Armed Forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

, headquartered at Kelley Barracks
Kelley Barracks
thumb|U.S. Africa Command HQ.Kelley Barracks is a U.S. military installation in Stuttgart-Möhringen in Germany.Located ten miles southeast of Stuttgart, Kelley Barracks was built in 1938 and was known by the German Army as Hellenen Kaserne. Shortly after the end of World War II it was renamed in...

, Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

, Germany. It is responsible for U.S. military operations and military relations with 53 African nations – an area of responsibility covering all of Africa except Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

.

The Combatant Commander of U.S. Africa Command reports
Chain of Command
Chain of Command may refer to:* Chain of command, in a military context, the line of authority and responsibility along which orders are passed* "Chain of Command" , the fifth episode of the first season of Beast Wars...

 to the Secretary of Defense, who in turn reports to the President of the United States. In individual countries, U.S. Ambassadors continue to be the President's personal representatives in diplomatic relations with host nations.

AFRICOM Mission Statement


The United States Africa Command, in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy.

U.S. Africa Command supports American national security interests by conducting a wide range of programs and activities that help African states—at their request—meet their goals of building capable and professional militaries that are subordinate to civilian authority, respect human rights, and adhere to the rule of law.

The White House said:
[AFRICOM] will strengthen our security cooperation with Africa and create new opportunities to bolster the capabilities of our partners in Africa. Africa Command will enhance our efforts to bring peace and security to the people of Africa and promote our common goals of development, health, education, democracy, and economic growth in Africa.


The U.S. Department of State stated of AFRICOM that:
The U.S. military’s new command center for Africa, Africa Command (AFRICOM), will play a supportive role as Africans continue to build democratic institutions and establish good governance across the continent. AFRICOM’S foremost mission is to help Africans achieve their own security, and to support African leadership efforts.

Geographic scope



The territory of the command consists of all of the African continent except for Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, which remains under the direct responsibility of USCENTCOM, as it closely relates to the Middle East. USAFRICOM also covers island countries commonly associated with Africa;
  • Cape Verde
    Cape Verde
    The Republic of Cape Verde is an island country, spanning an archipelago of 10 islands located in the central Atlantic Ocean, 570 kilometres off the coast of Western Africa...

  • São Tomé and Príncipe
    São Tomé and Príncipe
    São Tomé and Príncipe, officially the Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe, is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Central Africa. It consists of two islands: São Tomé and Príncipe, located about apart and about , respectively, off...

  • Comoros
    Comoros
    The Comoros , officially the Union of the Comoros is an archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa, on the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar...

  • Madagascar
    Madagascar
    The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

  • Mauritius
    Mauritius
    Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

  • Seychelles
    Seychelles
    Seychelles , officially the Republic of Seychelles , is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar....



The U.S. military areas of responsibility
Area of responsibility
Area Of Responsibility is a pre-defined geographic region assigned to a Combatant commanders of the Unified Command Plan , that are used to define an area with specific geographic boundaries where they have the authority to plan and conduct operations; for which a force, or component commander...

 involved were transferred from three separate U.S. unified combatant commands. Most of Africa was transferred from the United States European Command
United States European Command
The United States European Command is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands of the United States military, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany. Its area of focus covers and 51 countries and territories, including Europe, Russia, Iceland, Greenland, and Israel...

 with the Horn of Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

 and Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

 transferred from the United States Central Command
United States Central Command
The United States Central Command is a theater-level Unified Combatant Command unit of the U.S. armed forces, established in 1983 under the operational control of the U.S. Secretary of Defense...

. Responsibility for U.S. military operations in the islands of Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

, the Comoros
Comoros
The Comoros , officially the Union of the Comoros is an archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa, on the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar...

, the Seychelles
Seychelles
Seychelles , officially the Republic of Seychelles , is an island country spanning an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, some east of mainland Africa, northeast of the island of Madagascar....

 and Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

 was transferred from the United States Pacific Command
United States Pacific Command
The United States Pacific Command is a Unified Combatant Command of the United States armed forces responsible for the Pacific Ocean area. It is led by the Commander, Pacific Command , who is the supreme military authority for the various branches of the Armed Forces of the United States serving...

.

Headquarters


AFRICOM is located at Kelley Barracks, a small urban facility on the outskirts of Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

, the sixth largest city in Germany. In addition, the command has military and civilian personnel assigned at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti; Molesworth, United Kingdom
RAF Molesworth
RAF Molesworth is a Royal Air Force station located near Molesworth, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom with a history dating back to 1917.Its runway and flight line facilities were closed in 1973 and demolished to support ground-launched cruise missile operations in the early 1980s...

; MacDill Air Force Base, Florida
MacDill Air Force Base
MacDill Air Force Base is an active United States Air Force base located approximately south-southwest of downtown Tampa, Florida...

; and in Offices of Security Cooperation and Defense Attaché Offices in 36 African countries.

AFRICOM Personnel


U.S. Africa Command completed fiscal year 2010 with approximately 2,000 assigned personnel, which includes military, civilian, contractor, and host nation employees. About 1,500 work at the command’s main headquarters in Stuttgart. Others are assigned to the command’s units in England and Florida, along with security cooperation officers posted at U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions in Africa to coordinate Defense Department programs within the host nation.

As of December 2010, the command has five Senior Foreign Service
Senior Foreign Service
The Senior Foreign Service comprises the top four ranks of the United States Foreign Service. These ranks were created by the Foreign Service Act of 1980 and Executive Order 12293 in order to provide the Foreign Service with senior grades equivalent to general- and flag ranks in the military and...

 officers in key positions as well as more than 30 personnel from 13 U.S. Government Departments and Agencies serving in leadership, management, and staff positions. Some of the agencies represented are the United States Department's of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

, Treasury, and Commerce
United States Department of Commerce
The United States Department of Commerce is the Cabinet department of the United States government concerned with promoting economic growth. It was originally created as the United States Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903...

, United States Agency for International Development
United States Agency for International Development
The United States Agency for International Development is the United States federal government agency primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid. President John F. Kennedy created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas...

, and the United States Coast Guard
United States Coast Guard
The United States Coast Guard is a branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven U.S. uniformed services. The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the military branches for having a maritime law enforcement mission and a federal regulatory agency...

.

U.S. Africa Command has limited assigned forces and relies on the Department of Defense
United States Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense is the U.S...

 for resources necessary to support its missions.

Components


On 1 October 2008, the Seventeenth Air Force
Seventeenth Air Force
Seventeenth Air Force is a numbered air force of the United States Air Force located at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The command served the United States Air Forces in Europe during its years of active service...

 was established at Ramstein Air Base
Ramstein Air Base
Ramstein Air Base is a United States Air Force base in the German state of Rheinland-Pfalz. It serves as headquarters for the United States Air Forces in Europe and is also a North Atlantic Treaty Organization installation...

, Germany as the United States Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 component of the Africa Command. Brig. Gen. Tracey Garrett was named as commander of the new USMC component, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa (MARFORAF), in November 2008. MARFORAF is a dual-mission arrangement for United States Marine Corps Forces, Europe.

On 3 December 2008 the U.S. announced that Army and Navy headquarters units of AFRICOM would be hosted in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. The AFRICOM section of the Army’s Southern European Task Force would be located in Vicenza
Vicenza
Vicenza , a city in north-eastern Italy, is the capital of the eponymous province in the Veneto region, at the northern base of the Monte Berico, straddling the Bacchiglione...

 and Naval Forces Europe in Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 would expand to include the Navy's AFRICOM component. Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA) is also established, gaining control over Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara (JSOTF-TS) and Special Operations Command and Control Element – Horn of Africa (SOCCE-HOA).

U.S. Army Africa (USARAF)


Headquartered on Caserma Ederle in Vicenza, Italy, U.S. Army Africa is America's premier Army team dedicated to achieving positive change in Africa. As the Army Component to Africa Command, U.S. Army Africa, in concert with national and international partners, conducts sustained security engagement with African land forces to promote peace, stability, and security in Africa. As directed, deploy as a contingency headquarters in support of crisis response.

U.S. Naval Forces, Africa (NAVAF)


The Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) area of responsibility (AOR) covers approximately half of the Atlantic Ocean, from the North Pole to Antarctica; as well as the Adriatic, Baltic, Barents, Black, Caspian, Mediterranean and North Seas. NAVEUR-NAVAF covers all of Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Europe and nearly the entire continent of Africa. It encompasses 105 countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and includes a landmass extending more than 14 million square miles.

The area of responsibility covers more than 20 million square nautical miles of ocean, touches three continents and encompasses more than 67 percent of the Earth's coastline, 30 percent of its landmass, and nearly 40 percent of the world's population.

U.S. Air Forces, Africa (AFAFRICA/17AF)


Headquarters, 17th Air Force is located at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, and serves as the air and space component to U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) located at Stuttgart, Germany. In this capacity, Seventeenth Air Force is referred to as U.S. Air Forces Africa (AFAFRICA). AFAFRICA conducts sustained security engagement and operations as directed to promote air safety, security and development on the African continent. Through its Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) events, AFAFRICA carries out AFRICOM's policy of seeking long-term partnership with the African Union and regional organizations as well as individual nations on the continent.

AFAFRICA works with other U.S. Government agencies, to include the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), to assist our African partners in developing national and regional security institution capabilities that promote security and stability and facilitate development. Through this interagency synergy, AFAFRICA is able to strengthen existing relationships and expand our network of partners on the continent.

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Africa (MARFORAF)


U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Africa conducts operations, exercises, training, and security cooperation activities throughout the AOR. In 2009, MARFORAF participated in 15 ACOTA missions aimed at improving partners’ capabilities to provide logistical support, employ military police, and exercise command and control over deployed forces.

MARFORAF conducted mil-to-mil events in 2009 designed to familiarize our African partners with nearly every facet of military operations and procedures, including use of unmanned aerial vehicles, tactics, and medical skills. MARFORAF, as the lead component, continues to conduct Exercise AFRICAN LION in Morocco—the largest annual Combined Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) exercise on the African continent—as well as Exercise SHARED ACCORD 10, which was the first CJCS exercise conducted in Mozambique.

U.S. Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA)


On 1 October 2008, SOCAFRICA was formed as a Special Operations Forces (SOF) Functional Sub-Unified Command for U.S. Africa Command. SOCAFRICA is co-located with U.S. Africa Command at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. Also on 1 October 2008, SOCAFRICA assumed responsibility for the Special Operations Command and Control Element – Horn of Africa, and on 15 May 2009, SOCAFRICA assumed responsibility for Joint Special Operations Task Force Trans – Sahara (JSOTFTS) – the SOF component of Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans–Sahara.

SOCAFRICA’s objectives are to build operational capacity, strengthen regional security and capacity initiatives, implement effective communication strategies in support of strategic objectives, and eradicate violent extremist organizations and their supporting networks. SOCAFRICA forces work closely with both U.S. Embassy country teams and African partners, maintaining a small but sustained presence throughout Africa, predominantly in the OEF-TS and CJTF-HOA regions. SOCAFRICA’s persistent SOF presence provides an invaluable resource that furthers USG efforts to combat violent extremist groups and builds partner nation CT capacity.

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa


Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) conducts operations in the East Africa region to build partner nation capacity in order to promote regional security and stability, prevent conflict, and protect U.S. and coalition interests. CJTF-HOA's efforts, as part of a comprehensive whole-of-government approach, are aimed at increasing African partner nations' capacity to maintain a stable environment, with an effective government that provides a degree of economic and social advancement for its citizens.

Programs, activities and exercises

  • State Partnership Program
    State Partnership Program
    The National Guard State Partnership Program was established in 1993 in response to the radically changed political-military situation following the collapse of Communism and the disintegration of the Soviet Union....

     connects a U.S. state’s National Guard to an African nation for military training and relationship-building.
  • Africa Partnership Station
    Africa Partnership Station
    Africa Partnership Station is an international initiative developed by United States Naval Forces Europe-Africa, which works cooperatively with U.S...

     is the U.S. Africa Command's primary maritime security engagement program which strengthens maritime security through maritime training with various nations. In 2010, APS included representatives from Brazil and 17 African and nine European countries.
  • Joint Combined Exchange Training FLINTLOCK
    Joint Combined Exchange Training
    Joint Combined Exchange Training or JCET programs are exercises designed to provide training opportunities for American Special Forces who are stationed outside of the United States by holding the training exercises in countries that the forces may one day have to operate in, as well as providing...

     is a multi-national military exercise designed to build relationships among security forces throughout the Trans-Saharan region. It also fosters regional counterterrorism partnership and collaboration between U.S., European and African forces. In 2010, more than 1200 personnel from 14 nations focused on interoperability and included tactical and strategic training events in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mauritania, Mali and Senegal.
  • Operation Odyssey Dawn
    Operation Odyssey Dawn
    Operation Odyssey Dawn was the U.S. code name for the US part of the international military operation in Libya to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. during the initial period of 19–31 March 2011, which continued afterwards under NATO command as Operation Unified Protector...

     was the first major combat deployment directed by Africa Command.

Geopolitical background (2000–2006)


Prior to the creation of AFRICOM, three Unified Commands had divided responsibility for U.S. military operations in Africa. The United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

´s Naval Postgraduate School
Naval Postgraduate School
The Naval Postgraduate School is an accredited research university operated by the United States Navy. Located in Monterey, California, it grants master's degrees, Engineer's degrees and doctoral degrees...

 noted in January 2007 that U.S. policy towards Africa, at least in the medium-term, looks to be largely defined by international terrorism, the increasing importance of African oil to American energy needs, and the dramatic expansion and improvement of Sino-African relations
Sino-African relations
Sino-African relations refers to the historical, political, economic, military, social and cultural connections between China and the African continent.Little is known about ancient relations though there is some evidence for early trade operations...

 since the turn of the century.

A U.S. military officer wrote the first public article calling for the formation of an African Command published in November 2000. A January 2002 report from the African Oil Policy Initiative Group played a role in getting discussions about such a command started within the U.S. national security community, though their specific recommendation was to create a subcommand for the Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea
The Gulf of Guinea is the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between Cape Lopez in Gabon, north and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia. The intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian is in the gulf....

. The AOPIG report emphasised that the U.S. National Intelligence Council
National Intelligence Council
The National Intelligence Council is the center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking within the United States Intelligence Community . It was formed in 1979...

 has estimated that the United States will buy 25 percent of its oil from Africa by 2015. In general, areas of increasing interest to the United States in Africa include the Sahara
Sahara
The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

/Sahel
Sahel
The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition between the Sahara desert in the North and the Sudanian Savannas in the south.It stretches across the North African continent between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea....

 region, over which Joint Task Force Aztec Silence
Joint Task Force Aztec Silence
Joint Task Force Aztec Silence is a United States Department of Defense task forceconducting anti-terrorism operations. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee on 1 March 2005, then-United States European Command commander General James L. Jones said:The 'assets' at Sigonella are a...

 is conducting anti-terrorist operations (known as Operation Enduring Freedom - Trans Sahara
Operation Enduring Freedom - Trans Sahara
Operation Enduring Freedom – Trans Sahara is the name of the military operation conducted by the United States and partner nations in the Sahara/Sahel region of Africa, consisting of counterterrorism efforts and policing of arms and drug trafficking across central Africa...

), the Horn of Africa, where Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa is located in Djibouti (conducting operations which have been called Operation Enduring Freedom - Horn of Africa
Operation Enduring Freedom - Horn of Africa
Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa is a joint task force of United States Africa Command . It originated under Operation Enduring Freedom-Horn of Africa as part of the United States response to the September 11, 2001 attacks...

), and the Gulf of Guinea
Gulf of Guinea
The Gulf of Guinea is the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between Cape Lopez in Gabon, north and west to Cape Palmas in Liberia. The intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian is in the gulf....

, whose oil resources are expected to gain in importance.

The United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 approved US$500 million for the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative
Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative
The Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative is an interagency plan by the United States government, combining efforts by both civil and military agencies, "to combat terrorism in Trans-Saharan Africa. The military component of TSCTI comprises the U.S. efforts of Operation Enduring Freedom -...

 (TSCTI) over six years to support countries involved in counterterrorism against alleged threats of Al Qaeda operating in African countries, primarily Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, Chad, Mali
Mali
Mali , officially the Republic of Mali , is a landlocked country in Western Africa. Mali borders Algeria on the north, Niger on the east, Burkina Faso and the Côte d'Ivoire on the south, Guinea on the south-west, and Senegal and Mauritania on the west. Its size is just over 1,240,000 km² with...

, Mauritania, Niger
Niger
Niger , officially named the Republic of Niger, is a landlocked country in Western Africa, named after the Niger River. It borders Nigeria and Benin to the south, Burkina Faso and Mali to the west, Algeria and Libya to the north and Chad to the east...

, Senegal, Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

, and Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

. This program builds upon the former Pan Sahel Initiative
Pan Sahel Initiative
The Pan-Sahel Initiative, according to a November 7, 2002, by the Office of Counterterrorism, U.S. Department of State, was "a State-led effort to assist Mali, Niger, Chad, and Mauritania in detecting and responding to suspicious movement of people and goods across and within their borders through...

 (PSI), which concluded in December 2004 and focused on weapon and drug trafficking, as well as counterterrorism. Previous U.S. military activities in sub-Saharan Africa have included Special Forces associated Joint Combined Exchange Training
Joint Combined Exchange Training
Joint Combined Exchange Training or JCET programs are exercises designed to provide training opportunities for American Special Forces who are stationed outside of the United States by holding the training exercises in countries that the forces may one day have to operate in, as well as providing...

.

As a result of the 2004 global posture review, the Pentagon
The Pentagon
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. As a symbol of the U.S. military, "the Pentagon" is often used metonymically to refer to the Department of Defense rather than the building itself.Designed by the American architect...

 began implementing a number of Cooperative Security Location
Cooperative Security Location
A Cooperative Security Location is a U.S. military term for facilities used for regional training in counterterrorism and interdiction of drug trafficking, and also to provide contingency access to the continent. "A CSL is a host-nation facility with little or no permanent U.S...

s (CSLs) and Forward Operating Site
Forward Operating Site
A Forward Operating Site or Forward Operating Location is a U.S. military term for facilities, defined as "a scalable, 'warm' facility that can support sustained operations, but with only a small permanent presence of support or contractor personnel...

s (FOSs) across the African continent, through USEUCOM. These locations, along with Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, would form the basis of AFRICOM facilities on the continent.

Creation of AFRICOM (2006–2008)


In mid-2006, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld
Donald Henry Rumsfeld is an American politician and businessman. Rumsfeld served as the 13th Secretary of Defense from 1975 to 1977 under President Gerald Ford, and as the 21st Secretary of Defense from 2001 to 2006 under President George W. Bush. He is both the youngest and the oldest person to...

 formed a planning team to advise on requirements for establishing a new Unified Command for the African continent. In early December, he made his recommendations to President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

.

On 6 February 2007, Defense Secretary Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 announced to the Senate Armed Services Committee that President George W. Bush had given authority to create the new African Command and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral
Rear Admiral
Rear admiral is a naval commissioned officer rank above that of a commodore and captain, and below that of a vice admiral. It is generally regarded as the lowest of the "admiral" ranks, which are also sometimes referred to as "flag officers" or "flag ranks"...

 Robert Moeller, the director of the AFRICOM transition team, arrived in Stuttgart Germany to begin creating the logistical framework for the command. On 28 September the U.S. Senate confirmed General William E. "Kip" Ward as AFRICOM's first commander and AFRICOM officially became operational as a sub-unified command of EUCOM with a separate headquarters. On 1 October 2008, the command separated from USEUCOM and began operating on its own as a full fledged combatant command.

Selecting a headquarters


The 1,300 person command is headquartered at Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart, Germany for the foreseeable future and a further administrative presence on the continent will only occur via "full diplomatic consultation and agreement with potential host nations".

It was reported in June 2007 that African countries were competing to host the headquarters because it would bring money for the recipient country. However, of all the African nations, only Liberia
Liberia
Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

 has publicly expressed a willingness to host AFRICOM's headquarters. The U.S. declared in February 2008 that Africa Command would be headquartered in Stuttgart for the "foreseeable future". In August 2007, Dr. Wafula Okumu, a research fellow at the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa, testified before congress about the growing resistance and hostility on the African continent. Nigeria
Nigeria
Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

 announced it will not allow its country to host a base and opposed the creation of a base on the continent. South Africa and Libya
Libya
Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

 also expressed reservations of the establishment of a headquarters in Africa.

The Sudan Tribune considered it likely that Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, a strong U.S. ally in the region, will house USAFRICOM's headquarters due to the collocation of AFRICOM with the African Union
African Union
The African Union is a union consisting of 54 African states. The only all-African state not in the AU is Morocco. Established on 9 July 2002, the AU was formed as a successor to the Organisation of African Unity...

's developing peace and security apparatus
Peace and Security Council
The Peace and Security Council is the organ of the African Union in charge of enforcing union decisions. It is patterned somewhat after the United Nations Security Council....

. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi Asres is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. Since 1985, he has been chairman of the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front , and is currently head of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front .Meles was born in Adwa, Tigray in Northern Ethiopia, to an Ethiopian father from...

 stated in early November that Ethiopia would be willing to work together closely with USAFRICOM. This was further reinforced when a U.S. Air Force official said on 5 December 2007, that Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the capital city of Ethiopia...

 was likely to be the headquarters.

On 18 February 2008 General Ward told an audience at the Royal United Services Institute
Royal United Services Institute
The Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies , officially still known by its old name, the Royal United Services Institution, is a British defence and security think tank. It was founded in 1831 by The Duke of Wellington.RUSI describes itself asIt won Prospect Magazine's...

 in London that some portion of that staff headquarters being on the continent at some point in time would be "a positive factor in helping us better deliver programs." General Ward also told the BBC the same day in an interview that there are no definite plans to take the headquarters or a portion of it to any particular location on the continent.

President Bush denied that the United States was contemplating the construction of new bases on the African continent. U.S. plans include no large installations such as Camp Bondsteel
Camp Bondsteel
Camp Bondsteel is the main base of the United States Army under KFOR command in Kosovo. Located near Uroševac in the eastern part of Kosovo, the base serves as the NATO headquarters for KFOR's Multinational Brigade East . The base is named after Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipient United States...

 in Kosovo, but rather a network of facilities – the so-called 'cooperative security locations,' etc., mentioned above, at which temporary activities will be conducted. There is one U.S. base on the continent, Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, with approximately 2,300 troops stationed there having been inherited from USCENTCOM upon standup of the command.

However, Basil Ibebunjo says there are some contradictions on the issue of the establishment of a Headquarters for AFRICOM on the African soil. According to him, "during his official announcement of the establishment of AFRICOM on 6 February 2007, the last paragraph of President Bush's press release read": "We will be consulting with African leaders to seek their thoughts on how Africa Command can respond to security challenges and opportunities in Africa. We will also work closely with our African partners to determine an appropriate location for the new command in Africa." This change of policy must have been occasioned by the rejection of the planned establishment of AFRICOM's Headquarters in Africa by Africa's politico-military leadership. It was purported that AFRICOM was expected to reach full operational capability on 1 October 2008; including the establishment of a headquarters in Africa.

In general, U.S. Unified Combatant Commands have an HQ of their own in one location, subordinate service component HQs, sometimes one or two co-located with the main HQ or sometimes spread widely, and a wide range of operating locations, main bases, forward detachments, etc. USAFRICOM initially appears to be considering something slightly different; spreading the actually COCOM
Unified Combatant Command
A Unified Combatant Command is a United States Department of Defense command that is composed of forces from at least two Military Departments and has a broad and continuing mission. These commands are established to provide effective command and control of U.S. military forces, regardless of...

 HQ over several locations, rather than having the COCOM HQ in one place and the putative 'U.S. Army Forces, Africa', its air component, and 'U.S. Naval Forces, Africa' in one to four separate locations. AFRICOM will not have the traditional J-type staff divisions, instead having outreach, plans and programs, knowledge development, operations and logistics, and resources branches.

List of AFRICOM commanders

No. Image Name Service Start End
1. GEN William E. Ward
William E. Ward
William E. "Kip" Ward , is a retired United States Army four-star general who last served as Commander, U.S. Africa Command from October 1, 2007 to March 8, 2011. He was the first officer to hold this position. General Ward previously served as Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command. General Ward...

USA
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

1 October 2007 8 March 2011
2. GEN Carter F. Ham USA
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

8 March 2011 Incumbent

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