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U.S. Navy Assumes Command of Camp Lemonier

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS060703-14

From U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs

CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- U.S. Navy Capt. Robert Fahey relieved Marine Corps Col. Gerard Fischer as commanding officer of Camp Lemonier during a change of command ceremony here, July 1.

The event marks the first time the Navy has commanded the camp since the United States took control in May 2003, as the command center for Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA).

According to Fahey, the change of command is tied to the Navy taking leadership responsibility from the Marine Corps here in the Horn of Africa.

“A few months ago, Navy Rear Adm. Richard Hunt took over as the CJTF-HOA commander and brought in his staff,” said Fahey, who previously served as the public works officer at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga.

Fahey said he’s excited to take over command of Camp Lemonier, especially with the quality foundation that the Marines have already built.

"The Marines have done a fantastic job here on a camp that encompasses only about 90 acres. They’ve focused on security and safety, and have also made numerous quality of life improvements," he said. "The Navy team is committed to building upon the Marines' fine work to make the camp even better."

Although the camp is led by the Navy, it’s still made up of military personnel from all branches of service.

“While Camp Lemonier is commanded by the Navy, we’re largely joint all the way across the board,” said Fahey. “I’m very impressed with how people work together here to get things done. It’s a team effort among all the services, along with the contractors and Djiboutian people who work on board. It's definitely one team, one fight."

And this team works together to ensure CJTF-HOA has the facilities to conduct its mission of detecting, disrupting and ultimately defeating transnational terrorist activity in the region.

Consisting of about 1,500 U.S. and coalition personnel, the task force conducts operations and training to help host nations establish a secure environment while enabling regional stability.

The primary purpose of the camp is to support CTF-HOA’s anti-terrorism operations here in the Horn of Africa to include Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, said Fahey.

As Fischer moves on to his new assignment in Quantico, Va., he says Camp Lemonier’s greatest achievement is its day-to-day operation.

“We’re an anti-terrorism base, so our most important accomplishment is providing security and safety to Camp Lemonier each and every day,” he said.

Originally a French Foreign Legion post, the camp was later renovated by the United States. CJTF-HOA later moved its headquarters from the flagship USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20) to the East African facility.

Since the United States took over, Lemonier personnel have also organized numerous community relations projects for the local population. Past projects include the construction and restoration of civilian living quarters, civilian medical care and treatment, and well drilling to help supply locals with ready sources of water.

Camp Lemonier also supports the Defense Fuel Supply Point (DFSP) at the local Port of Doraleh. The DFSP exclusively refuels U.S. and coalition ships operating around the Horn of Africa in support of maritime security operations (MSO).

MSO set the conditions for security and stability in the maritime environment, as well as complement the counter-terrorism and security of regional nations. These operations deny international terrorists the use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or other material.

For related news, visit the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander, U.S. 5th Fleet Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/cusnc/.

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