Wednesday, February 13, 2013

United States Africa Command (AFRICOM)

The United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM) is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Armed Forces, headquartered at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany. It is responsible for U.S. military operations and military relations with 53 African nations – an area of responsibility (AOR) covering all of Africa except Egypt, which is within the area of responsibility of the United States Central Command.

Task Force 60 will normally be the commander of Naval Task Force Europe and Africa.[citation needed] Any naval unit within the USEUCOM or USAFRICOM AOR may be assigned to Task Force 60 as required upon signal from the Commander of the Sixth Fleet. There is a Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.

The Combatant Commander of U.S. Africa Command reports to the Secretary of Defense, who in turn reports to the President of the United States. In individual countries, U.S. Ambassadors continue to be the President's personal representatives in diplomatic relations with host nations.


Africa Command protects and defends the national security interests of the United States by strengthening the defense capabilities of African states and regional organizations and, when directed, conducts military operations, in order to deter and defeat transnational threats and to provide a security environment conducive to good governance and development.


Our purpose is twofold: 1) to protect the U.S. homeland, American citizens abroad, and our national interests from transnational threats emanating from Africa; and 2) through sustained engagement, to enable our African partners to create a security environment that promotes stability, improved governance, and continued development. Should preventive or enabling efforts fail, we must always be prepared to prevail against any individual or organization that poses a threat to the United States, our national interests, or our allies and partners.

Africa Command’s activities, plans, and operations are centered on two guiding principles:
• A safe, secure, and stable Africa is in our national interest.
• Over the long run, it will be Africans who will best be able to address African security challenges and that AFRICOM most effectively advances U.S. security interests through focused security engagement with our African partners.

Most important military tasks are:

• Deter or defeat al-Qaida and other violent extremist organizations operating in Africa and deny them safe haven.
• Strengthen the defense capabilities of key African states and regional partners.
           o Through enduring and tailored engagement, help them build defense institutions and military forces that are capable, sustainable, subordinate to civilian authority, respectful of the rule of law, and committed to the well-being of their fellow citizens.
           o Increase the capacity of key states to contribute to regional and international military activities aimed at preserving peace and combating transnational threats to security.
• Ensure U.S. access to and through Africa in support of global requirements.
• Be prepared, as part of a whole of government approach, to help protect Africans from mass atrocities. The most effective way in which we do this is through our sustained engagement with African militaries.
• When directed, provide military support to humanitarian assistance efforts.

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