The Department of Defense has directed the U.S. European
Command to deploy enabling forces, consisting of several hundred
personnel, as part of contingency planning for a possible future
evacuation from Zaire. This deployment represents an enhancement
to planning for contingency measures to ensure the security of
U.S. citizens in Zaire if an evacuation should become necessary.
This deployment does not represent a U.S. commitment to any
particular course of action.
This deployment includes command and support elements for a
forward joint task force and other enabling elements. The units
involved are deploying to locations in several West African
countries including Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo, and
Libreville, Republic of Gabon. A few task force members may
visit Zaire if that becomes necessary as part of the planning
Enabling forces come from elements of the U.S. European
Command, primarily from the Southern European Task Force based in
Vicenza, Italy. Some support elements are from U.S. based units.
The Joint Task Force is commanded by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Edwin P.
Smith, Commander Southern European Task Force.