Camp Lemonnier, DJIBOUTI - The Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) and partners from Djibouti alongside seven other allied nations celebrated Partner Appreciation Day Nov. 8, 2023, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.
This year’s event marked 21 years of collaboration between the two nations and emphasized the United States’ continued commitment to the Horn of Africa.
“Your unwavering support and friendship have been invaluable,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, CJTF-HOA commanding general. “Together, we’ve achieved much, and together we will continue to build a brighter future.”
The Task Force’s presence in Djibouti dates back to 2001 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Initially established as an expeditionary sea mission aboard the USS Mount Whitney in 2002, the Task Force was brought ashore and established base on Camp Lemonnier in 2003.
“From the beginning, the United States and Djibouti have enjoyed a robust partnership. The depth of this collaboration was on full display in April when U.S. forces used Camp Lemonnier to conduct a military-assisted departure of U.S. diplomats from our Embassy in Khartoum," said Christopher Snipes, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Djibouti. "Because of this effort, over 75 Americans were returned safely to their families. The successful operation would not have been possible without our longstanding partnership with the Republic of Djibouti.”
“Djibouti plays an important role in world affairs and our partnership is like no other,” Snipes continued. “It is a privilege to say, on behalf of the U.S. Mission to Djibouti, that it is stronger today than ever. We look forward to where our partnership will take us in the future.”
During the event, service members from the U.S., France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, South Korea, Spain and the United Kingdom showcased equipment, aircraft, military vehicles and capabilities displays.
The event also featured a flyover from U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey from the VMM-364 (REIN) and KC-130 from the VMGR-252, and a Japan Maritime Self Defense Force P-3. The flyover served as a symbol of the continued commitment and support to Djibouti and the entire region.
“I'm very happy to be here today with our allies, the American forces in Djibouti,” said Djiboutian Sous-Préfet de Damerjog, Abdi-Chaib Nour Youssouf via translator. “The American forces are always on our side.”
In the two decades since it was established, the Task Force’s mission has seen organizational and operational changes and evolved to meet the needs of the region. However, the enduring relationship between the allied nations in Djibouti ensures they are all ready to support any mission.
“As we move forward, our partnership remains steadfast. Our friendship isn’t only a product of shared history, but also a testament to our shared vision of the future,” said Shawley. “Together we’re stronger and better equipped to face the challenges of the 21st century.”
About CJTF-HOA and Camp Lemonnier:
CJTF-HOA conducts operations in the Horn of Africa to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional stability, dissuade conflict and protect U.S. and partner interests.
Camp Lemonnier is an operational installation that provides world-class support for service members, transient U.S. assets and its 38 tenant commands, including CJTF-HOA.