Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates announced today that the President has nominated Gen. William E. Ward for re-appointment to the rank of general with assignment as commander, U.S. Africa Command, Stuttgart, Germany. Gen. Ward is currently serving as the deputy commander, U.S. European Command, Germany.
The command will be first established as a sub-unified command, subordinate to U.S. European Command, with an initial operational capability by October 2007. The President authorized and directed the establishment of a separate unified command no later than the end of Fiscal Year 2008.
One distinct aspect of U.S. Africa Command is the interagency coordination built in from the very beginning. The command will have two deputies: The Deputy for Military Operations position will be filled by an active duty three star general or flag officer. The Deputy for Civil-Military Activities will be filled by a Department of State, senior foreign service/senior executive service official. The announcement of Deputy for Military Operations, U.S. Africa Command and Deputy for Civil-Military Activities, Africa Command will be made in the near future.
The goal of U.S. Africa Command is to help build the capacity of African nations and African organizations like the African Standby Force to promote peace and security and respond to crises on the continent. At the same time, the command will coordinate DOD support to other U.S. Government programs for Africa in the areas of diplomacy and development to help make those efforts more effective. For more information, visit http://www.defenselink.mil/home/features/2007/africom/