Diplomat, Admiral become Co-Deputies of U.S. Africa Command

US AFRICOM Public Affairs
U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs

Stuttgart, Germany, Oct 29, 2007 — An American ambassador and a Navy admiral have begun serving as co-deputies of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM), a unique arrangement designed to enhance military support for U.S. government programs throughout Africa.

Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates, a senior U.S. diplomat, is Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Activities (DCMA) of United States Africa Command. Her counterpart, Navy Vice Admiral Robert T. Moeller, is Deputy to the Commander for Military Operations (DCMO).

Yates is the first senior government civilian official from outside the Defense Department to be integrated into the command structure of a U.S. regional military headquarters.

“The appointment of Ambassador Yates signals the Department of State’s commitment to the success of AFRICOM,” Deputy Secretary of State Ambassador John Negroponte said in a statement to Africa Command.

“This is a great opportunity to better integrate government agencies in a place where diplomacy and defense are so intertwined,” Ambassador Eric S. Edelman, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, said in a statement. “Ambassador Yates has the ideal background and experience to support this initiative. The goal of AFRICOM is to provide the most effective support possible for those who seek African solutions for African security.”

As DCMA, Yates has supervisory authority for U.S. military coordination with other U.S. government agencies working in Africa. Yates served twice as U.S. ambassador to Ghana and to Burundi, and as foreign policy advisor to U.S. European Command (EUCOM) from September 2005 to October 2007.

Moeller served as executive director of the U.S. Africa Command Transition Team from February to September 2007. From August 2004 to January 2007, Moeller served with the U.S. Central Command, first as the director for strategy, plans and policy, then as special assistant to the commander.

AFRICOM began initial operations October 1 in Stuttgart, Germany, as a sub-unified command under EUCOM. General William E. “Kip” Ward, the first AFRICOM commander, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on September 28.

Unlike traditional unified commands, AFRICOM integrates personnel from other U.S. government agencies that play key roles in U.S. policy and development efforts in Africa. The current staff is approximately 175 military and civilian personnel, with several hundred more scheduled to arrive over the next year.

Yates, as Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Activities, will direct the command’s civil-military plans and programs, with emphasis on aligning AFRICOM activities with those of other U.S. government agencies. Additionally, Yates will have lead responsibility for policy development, resourcing, and program assessment for the command’s security cooperation program.

Moeller, as the Deputy to the Commander for Military Operations, will direct the command’s military-to-military relationships and operations in support of U.S. government programs. Moeller will also exercise command authority in the Commander’s absence.

“Both positions are three-star officer equivalents and peer equals,” Ward told the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on September 27, describing the two AFRICOM deputy positions.

“Because we wish to integrate activities and eliminate ‘stovepipes’, both deputies necessarily will collaborate and coordinate with each other on activities within their respective portfolios,” Ward said.

Additional information is available on the U.S. Africa Command website: http://www.africom.mil or by contacting the U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs Office in Stuttgart, Germany, via email to publicOutreach@africom.mil or by phone at +49-711-729-4714/4711.