Townsend ends East Africa trip after US troops exit Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia – Stephen Townsend, commander of US Africa Command, concluded a five-day visit to East Africa, which included stops in Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya as well as USS Makin Island (DG 8), operating off the coast of Somalia. . Townsend was accompanied by the command’s senior enlisted commander, Sgt. Major Richard Thresher.
The trip, which was Townsend’s first visit to the African continent in 2021, demonstrated the U.S. Africa Command’s commitment to East African partners and gave the commander the opportunity to visit the Joint Task Force – Quartz, the organization responsible for overseeing the repositioning of U.S. forces while meeting with commanders, forces, and partners in the region.
“Our strategy in East Africa is based on partnerships,” said Townsend. “East African and international partners are working for a secure environment in Africa that enables political and economic development. The US Africa Command continues to do its part.”
Africa faces threats from terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab. It has also emerged as a front for global power competition where China and Russia use aggressive diplomatic, economic and military means to expand their access and influence.
In Djibouti and Kenya, Townsend and Thresher acknowledged US forces in the region and the effect of their actions on the success of the mission in East Africa, stressing that US forces in East Africa remain ready. respond to threats, deter aggression and support partners as they move forward. the United States and regional security.
“The US Africa Command helps, supports and strengthens partnerships and security in Africa. Our professional US military forces enjoy the trust and respect of our African partners and contribute every day to advancing mutual interests and security, ”Thresher said. “We are proud of this crucial mission for America.”
Thresher’s participation in the trip emphasized the need for a professional and well-trained enlisted corps for partner forces and how it is fundamental to the military success of any nation. He recognized the US forces and spoke with Somali military leaders about training opportunities. The formation of the US Africa Command continues to remain a competitive advantage in the age of global competition.
His trip also coincided with the withdrawal of troops from America and subsequent deployment to various countries in East Africa. The United States has been responsible for training and equipping the Somali National Army, specifically working closely with Danab Special Forces.
Even with the exit from Somalia, the United States has worked closely with the Somali National Army and has launched nearly six airstrikes since the start of 2021. It is not known whether the troops will be brought back as a result of the change. on duty in the United States. from America.