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Military

Horn of Africa Group Meets with Regional Leaders

By Maj. Steve Cox, USMC
Special to the American Forces Press Service

ABOARD THE USS MOUNT WHITNEY, Dec. 30, 2002 - Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa commander, Marine Maj. Gen. John F. Sattler, met with officials from Djibouti today at the CJTF-HOA headquarters aboard USS Mount Whitney in the Gulf of Aden.

Maj. Gen. Fathi Ahmed Hussein, commander of Djibouti's armed forces, headed the 12-member delegation. U.S. Ambassador Donald Yamamoto accompanied the delegation.

The sides discussed a wide range of topics focused primarily on Operation Enduring Freedom and the ongoing global war on terrorism. Both sides agreed on the need for cooperation in terms of security, information sharing and commitment to defeating terrorism and establishing the conditions necessary for long-term stability throughout the Horn of Africa.

Since arriving in the region Dec. 12, task force officials have met with coalition military commanders and host-nation officials, establishing a dialogue with key leaders throughout the Horn of Africa region.

Today's meeting with leaders from Djibouti follows Sattler's visit to Yemen last week. While there, Sattler met with Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Salih. The two discussed the mutual goal of defeating terrorism and ways to enhance ties between Yemen and the command.

Sattler also held talks with Yemen's Interior Minister Rashad al-Alimi on security cooperation initiatives and with Defense Minister Abdullah Ali Eleiwah on military cooperation between Yemeni forces and the task force.

The combined joint task force has also hosted French and Spanish military leaders. Sattler had productive meetings with Lt. Gen. Jean- Patrick Gaviard, director of operations for the French Joint Staff and with Rear Adm. Juan Moreno, commander of Combined Task Force-150. CTF- 150 is the coalition naval flotilla made up of French, Spanish, German, British and U.S. warships patrolling the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean areas around the Horn of Africa.

More meetings with other coalition partner leaders within the region are planned in January 2003.

The task force mission is to detect, disrupt and defeat transnational terrorist groups in the Horn of Africa. The command will also work closely with coalition partners to establish conditions leading to long-term stability within the region, thus denying the opportunity for reemergence of terrorist networks.

The headquarters staff is comprised of approximately 400 members from all branches of the U.S. armed forces, civilian representatives and coalition partner personnel. The combined joint task force has nearly 900 personnel stationed ashore at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti and a small number of liaison personnel working in other parts of the region.

U.S. Central Command formed the Horn of Africa headquarters to oversee operations in the region in support of the Global War on Terrorism. The headquarters sailed for the region from Morehead City, N.C., on Nov. 14 aboard the joint command ship, USS Mount Whitney, home-ported in Norfolk, VA.



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