May 19, 2011

WHO? 

U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) is one of ten Unified Combatant Commands of the United States Armed Forces.  It is responsible for U.S. military operations and military relations with 53 African nations - an area of responsibility covering all of Africa, with the exception of Egypt.

WHAT? 

AFRICOM, in concert with other U.S. government agencies and international partners, conducts sustained security engagement through military-to-military programs, military-sponsored activities, and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and secure African environment in support of U.S. foreign policy.

U.S. Africa Command supports American national security interests by conducting a wide range of programs and activities that help African states—at their request—meet their goals of building capable and professional militaries that are subordinate to civilian authority, respect human rights, and adhere to the rule of law.

WHERE?

Headquartered at Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart, Germany, the territory of the command consists of all of the African continent except for Egypt, which remains under the direct responsibility of USCENTCOM, as it closely relates to the Middle East. USAFRICOM also covers island countries commonly associated with Africa;

  • Cape Verde
  • São Tomé and Príncipe
  • Comoros
  • Madagascar
  • Mauritius
  • Seychelles

WHEN?

2006 – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld forms planning team to advise on requirements for establishing a new Unified Command for the African continent.  A recommendation of their findings are sent to President George W. Bush.

6 February 2007 - President George W. Bush gives authority to create the new African Command and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert Moeller, the director of the AFRICOM transition team, arrived in Stuttgart Germany to begin creating the logistical framework for the command.

28 September 2007 - the U.S. Senate confirmed General William E. "Kip" Ward as AFRICOM's first commander and AFRICOM officially became operational as a sub-unified command of EUCOM with a separate headquarters.

1 October 2008 - the command separated from USEUCOM and began operating on its own as a full-fledged combatant command.

WHY?

To bring U.S. military activities in Africa, which have previously been divided among three existing commands (European Command, Central Command, and Pacific Command), under a single one.

AFRICOM was created to counter the growing presence of China in Africa, including the Democratic Republic of Congo, to secure long-term economic agreements for raw materials from Africa in exchange for Chinese aid and production sharing agreements and royalties.

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