Africom commander travels to East Africa

Djibouti – US Army Commander Stephen Townsend, commander of the US African Command, was accompanied by Acting US Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller on a multi-day trip from November 25 to 27 to Djibouti and Somalia.

While there, senior defense officials received a first-hand overview of the operations of the U.S. African Commando in East Africa and recognized U.S. service members during the Thanksgiving holiday.

In Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, the official party received a comprehensive joint task force – Horn of Africa – review of actions and activities on the continent, emphasizing the strategic importance of the region.

“Global competitors understand Africa’s importance to their strategic interests,” Townsend said. “What we are doing in East Africa is important to American national security, and it is important that our forces understand the positive impact they have.”

While in Djibouti, Townsend also met with service members and participated in a “social distance” thanksgiving while he was there.

“Our forces are working hard to strengthen partnerships, advance American interests and improve regional security. In a challenging environment, our forces are positioned and ready to respond to emerging issues and crises,” Townsend said. “It’s important to me to thank our deployed service members for making a difference.”

After the visit to Djibouti, Townsend Miller accompanied to Mogadishu, Somalia, to meet with the US Ambassador to Somalia, Donald Yamamoto. During the visit, discussions focused on security and U.S. government programs and initiatives.

Townsend proceeded to an outpost in Somalia to recognize U.S. service members.

“We enjoy close cooperation with our East African partners. Partnership and a range of American assistance remains critical to the stability, security and prosperity of this region,” Townsend said. “We must continue to work together and deliver solutions for the entire government, internationally and Africa to address regional issues.”

While in East Africa, Townsend also met with US Ambassador to Djibouti Larry Andre and Djibouti Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf.

US Africa Command is part of a US government approach dedicated to improving the capabilities of partners and promoting mutual African partners and US interests.

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