U.S. Naval Forces Africa

Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVAF's primary mission is to improve the maritime security capability and capacity of African partners. Personnel are shared with U.S. Naval Forces Europe.


U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF), the forward-deployed naval component of U.S. Africa Command, serves to defend the American people and protect U.S. interests.

Sailors, Marines, ships and aircraft assigned to NAVAF are postured to support counter-terrorism operations, provide maritime security, and build capacity with our African partners to achieve an enhanced security environment. Air, surface, and subsurface assets combine to deter adversaries and bolster the U.S. military’s command and control capabilities to execute operations.

Naval forces have unique sea-based and maritime air capabilities to deter and defeat transnational threats. These assets provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance in order to monitor violent extremist organizations. When directed, NAVAF stands ready to provide precision strike capability to address threats to the U.S.

Naval forces’ adaptive flexibility creates an inherent capability for crisis response should the need arise to conduct a non-combatant evacuation or humanitarian assistance/disaster relief operations. The synergy provided by the Navy-Marine Corps team further enhances this ability to respond quickly to any crisis. The amphibious command ship, USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC 20), provides unmatched mobile command and control capability, and is permanently assigned as the flagship for U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. Sixth Fleet. As demonstrated during Operation ODYSSEY DAWN, MOUNT WHITNEY provides a vital command and control platform to conduct Joint Task Force operations within the full spectrum of military options, from disaster relief to full-scale military operations.

NAVAF aims for cooperative solutions to security challenges in Africa and its surrounding waters. NAVAF works closely with its Europe, African, and South American partners to disrupt terrorist networks, deter illicit trafficking, and defeat piracy and maritime crime.

Strengthening capacity through objective-based training is a key component to addressing security challenges posed by violent extremist organizations. Through Express-series exercises, NAVAF works with partner nations to exchange tactics and techniques that facilitate a more responsive and vigilant maritime presence throughout the continent. African Partnership Station, the year-round, multi-national training initiative, helps build capability and expand capacity that help African nations develop solutions to African problems. Pan-Atlantic and European partners aid in the capacity building efforts, increasing capabilities of African navies and coast guards, in order to build maritime domain awareness and combat those who seek to disrupt the free flow of goods.

NAVAF’s efforts truly scale the continent. The command is dedicated to working with African partners to address shared security concerns. The continual development of maritime skills and enhanced relationships with our African partners is crucial to defeating a range of transnational threats.


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