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US Africa Command leaving after Trump cuts troops to Germany

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Eric Colon, a combat rescue flight surgeon, teaches Uganda People’s Defense Force soldiers how to apply a tourniquet during a joint knowledge exchange in Somalia Oct 30, 2019, as part of a joint Tactical Casualty Combat Care knowledge exchange and mass casualty exercise with neighboring Ugandan African Union troops, one of many efforts directed from AFRICOM based in Germany. FILE PHOTO

Stuttgart, Germany | THE INDEPENDENT |  The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) headquarters will shift from Germany following President Donald Trump’s decision to pull troops based  there.

As part of the U.S. European Command Review, the Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper  publicly announced plans to make U.S. force adjustments within the European area of operations during a press briefing in Washington, July 29.

“U.S. Africa Command has been told to plan to move. While it will likely take several months to develop options, consider locations, and come to a decision, the command has started the process. We will ensure we continue to support our host nation and African partners and our families and forces throughout,” said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command.

The command stood up in 2008 to protect and advance U.S. national interests in Africa and develop capable, professional partner nation military forces there and has been headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany since its inception.

According to the the Secretary of Defense, the change in force posture is designed to support the National Defense and Security strategies, adapt to changing global strategic environment, and best address global priorities.

Commitment to Africa

In response to the President’s direction, efforts are now underway to develop plans and options to relocate U.S. Africa Command headquarters and forces from Germany, AFRICOM said in a statement. The statement added that the command will look first at options elsewhere in Europe, but also will consider options in the United States.

“We are very grateful to Germany for their partnership and serving as host to Headquarters U.S. Africa Command. International cooperation remains important to addressing mutual security challenges, especially in Africa,” said AFRICOM’s Townsend.

“It is important our African partners understand our commitment to them remains strong,” said Townsend. “U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with our African and other partners to address mutual interests.”

 

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