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Africa Command (USAFRICOM)

What is it?
The USAFRICOM is a Combatant Command that was activated on October 1, 2008.  The command is responsible for the African continent, with the exception of Egypt.  Also, in concert with other U.S. Government agencies and international partners, AFRICOM conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations that promote a stable and secure Africa that also support the foreign policy of the United States.  It is comprised of a complementary mix of military and civilian personnel to include several interagency members in key leadership positions which fosters a culture of inclusiveness and integration.

What has the Army done?
As part of the new focus on Africa, the Southern European Task Force (SETAF), stationed in Vicenza, Italy, will be assigned to USAFRICOM.  The SETAF, similar to its newly formed higher headquarters, is comprised of military and civilian personnel with four interagency positions on the staff.  It provides both a conduit for Title X support to U.S. Army forces operating in the USAFRICOM area of responsibility (AOR) and a deployable headquarters capability for the Commander, USAFRICOM.  Additionally, the U.S. Army provides support to USAFRICOM via the United States Army Europe/7th Army predominately focused on Title X requirements that exceed the SETAF capability/capacity and Combatant Command Support Agency (CCSA) requirements for the USAFRICOM Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army will continue to provide the CCSA support for USAFRICOM while the headquarters remains in Stuttgart, Germany.  The SETAF, as the deployable headquarters, will support USAFRICOM’s day to day requirements as well as be the conduit for support to any Army or other directed operations or surge requirements on the African continent. 

Why is this important to the Army?
The USAFRICOM AOR, with 53 distinct and extremely diverse countries, is a  predominately land-centric AOR; therefore, the Army is a critical part of the shaping/engagement strategy on the African continent.  As USAFRICOM further develops its concept of active security with a persistent, sustained level of effort, the U.S. Army maintains equities in building partner security capacity to prevent or mitigate conflict.  As the U.S. strategy transitions to focus more on preventing conflict through engagement, the Army will be called upon to facilitate the development of the land- centric security apparatus in a region that continues to be a resource rich but extremely impoverished group of nations.

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