Admiral Fallon, U.S. Navy Commander CENTCOM, Speaks Before the Senate Armed Services Committee on the U.S. Coalition’s Presence in the Horn of Africa

The nations of the Horn of Africa, Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, and the Seychelles, are plagued by border tension, insurgencies, corruption, terrorist infiltrations, and poverty. Moreover, Coalition pressure on al-Qaida and other extremist networks in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere increases the potential for some of these terrorists to migrate to the Horn as a place to plan, conduct, and coordinate terror attacks.

CENTCOM’s Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTFHOA), with nearly 1,300 US personnel, works closely with US Embassies in the region. It conducts operations, training, and humanitarian missions in the Horn and in Yemen to help nations build capacity to combat terrorism and prepare for other challenges including natural disasters.

Activities that it undertakes include training local security forces as well as assisting with civic projects such as wells, schools, and clinics, and providing medical and veterinary services in remote villages. Security capabilities and civil affairs training gained by local forces, coupled with the goodwill engendered by numerous humanitarian operations, increase the regions’ resistance to the spread of extremist ideology and fortifies local desires to defeat terrorism before it becomes entrenched.