The Department of Defense today announced the activation of United States Africa Command, the sixth unified geographic command within the DoD unified command structure.
“It is, at its heart, a different kind of command with a different orientation, one that we hope and expect will institutionalize a lasting security relationship with Africa, a vast region of growing importance in the globe,” said Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates.
U.S. Africa Command will coordinate military-to-military contacts and focus on relationships between the United States and 53 African nations, as well as African military and security organizations. The command is headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, with select personnel assigned to U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions in numerous African nations.
U.S. Africa Command is pioneering closer cooperation between government agencies by embedding members of other agencies into its military chain of command. These officials are not liaisons. They are fully integrated members of the staff. Senior leaders from the Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and others bring new insights and viewpoints so that the U.S. military can more effectively support the whole of the U.S. government effort in Africa. In the years ahead, the command plans to seek international partners to join the headquarters staff, including members of African militaries.
Established in October 2007, the command’s focus during its first year was to build a unique organization dedicated to long-term partnerships. U.S. Africa Command will now focus on synchronizing hundreds of activities inherited from three regional commands that previously coordinated U.S. military relations in Africa.
For more information, contact U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs office in Stuttgart, Germany, at 49-(0)711-729-4714.