Africa Command Welcomes Army Component
American Forces Press Service
VICENZA, Italy, Dec. 9, 2008 Southern European Task Force cased its old colors, ending the airborne chapter of its history, and uncased its new colors signifying acceptance of its new mission as the Army component in support of U.S. Africa Command in a ceremony here today.
The ceremony followed an official announcement by the U.S. and Italian governments Dec. 3 in Rome that SETAF would become U.S. Army Africa.
“We are honored and privileged to be the first members of U.S. Army Africa,” Army Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, SETAF commanding general, said. “This is a huge responsibility, as our decisions and actions will establish the foundation that others will build upon in the years ahead.”
Army Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward, commander of U.S. Africa Command, and Army Gen. Carter Ham, commander of U.S. Army Europe and 7th Army, attended the ceremony, which highlighted SETAF’s long, proud history.
“I welcome all of you to the U.S. Africa Command team,” Ward said. “I am confident that this great command is up to the challenge.”
Garrett, who was promoted from brigadier general to major general earlier today, said that while SETAF’s mission has changed, its relationship with the command’s Italian partners will not.
“The enduring relationship between the United States and Italy will only get stronger; new opportunities will spring from common objectives and a shared vision for a prosperous Africa,” he said.
SETAF, stationed in Italy since 1955, has a long history of operating on the African continent and working with African nations. During the past 15 years, SETAF has provided crisis response, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance on the continent.
During the next year, SETAF soldiers will learn and grow to lay the foundation for future success as U.S. Army Africa, Garrett said. This foundation includes building and strengthening relationships with African army organizations, along with national and international partners, to promote peace, security and stability in Africa, he said.
(From a Southern European Task Force news release.)