Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Future of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa?

The U.S. Government Accountability Office submitted a report in April 2010 to the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, on the only U.S. military base in Africa known as Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA).

Titled "DOD Needs to Determine the Future of Its Horn of Africa Task Force," the report raises important questions about the role, funding and future of the base. You can read the entire report here (PDF).

CJTF-HOA falls under the Africa Command (AFRICOM) based in Stuttgart. AFRICOM is evaluating CJTF-HOA — including whether it should continue to exist as a joint task force, and if so, whether changes are needed to the task force's mission, structure and resources.

CJTF-HOA has about 1,650 personnel. The Navy continues to fund the majority of the approximately $80 million budget as well as most of Camp Lemonnier's $238 million budget. CJTF-HOA is located at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. About 60 percent of its activities are civil affairs projects such as community medical care and bridge construction. Other roles include military-to-military interaction, peace support operations and counter-piracy activities.

Without long-term assessments of its projects and activities, it is difficult for AFRICOM to determine the effectiveness of CJTF-HOA. Its presence in Africa offers benefits such as its ability to respond to contingencies, provide forces for AFRICOM activities and build U.S.-African relationships. On the other hand, the task force's sustainability is uncertain because AFRICOM has not developed options for funding the task force over the long term.

Jan. 05, 2010. U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen conduct a combat insertion & extraction exercise from a Marine CH-53 helicopter attached to Heavy Marine Helicopter Squadron 464. The two units are deployed to Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by MSgt Jeremiah Erickson). Camp Lemonnier. Flickr creative commons licensed content.

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