U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security Dr. Liz Sherwood-Randall, and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Chris Maier visited U.S. personnel and operational facilities in Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, and Niger, Oct. 25-29.
The trip highlighted how U.S. Africa Command conducts its counter-terrorism and crisis response missions in a complex and evolving security environment. U.S. Africa Command and our regional and international allies focuses on diplomacy, development and defense to build partner capacity, and improve security, governance, and rule of law goals across the continent.
In East Africa, Townsend, Sherwood-Randall, and Maier met with senior U.S. state and defense department leaders. The delegation recognized service members at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti; Mogadishu, Somalia; and Manda Bay, Kenya, who are responsible for supporting local and regional partners executing the counterterrorism campaign against al-Shabaab.
In Niger, Townsend led the delegation to air bases in Agadez and Niamey to meet with American forces who work with Nigerien partners to monitor and disrupt security threats, support hostage recovery efforts, and project power in West Africa.
While in Niamey, the delegation met with Nigerien President Mohamed Bazoum and discussed ways to further counter terrorist groups in the Sahel. The party also met with U.S. Embassy officials and with French Ambassador to Niger Alexandre Garcia and Barkhane Force Commander Maj. Gen. Laurent Michon to improve U.S.-French counterterrorism cooperation in the region.
“This trip was a great opportunity to show how our troops across the continent protect the homeland and support our partners to strengthen stability in Africa,” said Townsend. “Dr. Sherwood-Randall and I also had a productive meeting with Nigerien President Bazoum, where we discussed our shared efforts to increase security in the Sahel.”