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AFRICOM Co-Deputies Brief Press in Nigeria
Capacity building with African States is the primary objective of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, Deputy to the Commander for Military Operations U.S. AFRICOM said November 28 in Abuja. Vice Admiral Moeller and his civilian
Capacity building with African States is the primary objective of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Vice Admiral Robert Moeller, Deputy to the Commander for Military Operations U.S. AFRICOM said November 28 in Abuja. Vice Admiral Moeller and his civilian co-deputy, Ambassador Mary Carlin Yates, Deputy to the Commander for Civil-Military Activities briefed the media on the activities of the command.

Admiral Moeller said that the command does not intend to station a full military unit in Africa nor does it have any intention whatsoever to undermine any African state. "AFRICOM will engage and cooperate in the future with African countries only when invited," he said.

Ambassador Yates discussed the significant humanitarian assistance already provided by the U.S. military in Africa. Noting that past assistance was coordinated by three separate military commands (U.S. European Commend, U.S. Central Command, and U.S. Pacific Command), Yates said AFRICOM was primarily a reorganization of the command structure that would enable the United States to be more responsive to requests for assistance and would ensure better coordination with African partners.

On February 6, 2007, President Bush approved the creation of a Department of Defense Unified Combatant Command for Africa with General William "kip" Ward as Commander.

In testimony before the U.S. House Armed Services Committee, Ward said a main reason for creating Africa Command is to deliver security assistance that enhances African stability so that development can occur.

The United States currently spends approximately $9 billion a year in Africa, funding programs in such areas as health, development, trade promotion, and good governance. In contrast, security-related programs receive only about $250 million a year.

More than 30 journalists drawn from different media organizations including foreign newswires like Reuters, Voice of America and the British Broadcasting Corporation, attended the media briefing. U.S. Charge d' Affaires Lisa Piascik, Defense Attache Colonel Peter Aubrey, and Office of Defense Cooperation Chief, Colonel Luis Perozo also attended the briefing.
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