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2012 POSTURE STATEMENT: Statement of General Carter Ham Before House Armed Services Committee
<p>See PDF version with maps/illustrations: <a href=";">2012 Posture Statement</a><br />

See PDF version with maps/illustrations: 2012 Posture Statement






Posture Statement of U.S. Africa Command

See also: Video on HASC website

U.S. Africa Command Mission Statement

Africa Command protects and defends the national security interests of the United States by strengthening the defense capabilities of African states and regional organizations and, when directed, conducts military operations, in order to deter and defeat transnational threats and to provide a security environment conducive to good governance and development.


Thank you for the opportunity to discuss the accomplishments and future efforts of the men and women of U.S. Africa Command. During the past year, we worked closely with U.S. Government agencies and many international partners to address emerging and ongoing threats to security and stability in Africa. Our operations, exercises, and security cooperation programs continue to support U.S. policy objectives in Africa, strengthen partnerships and reduce threats to America, Americans, and American interests emanating from Africa.

This year, with the continued support of Congress, we will strive to build upon existing relationships and develop new partnerships in Africa in order to strengthen the defense capabilities of partner nations to better enable them to provide for their own security while increasingly contributing to regional security and stability. Guided by the Defense Strategic Guidance, we will continue to sharpen our focus, particularly in the realm of countering violent extremist organizations. We will seek new ways to work with and through the African Union and its regional organizations and to support their leadership in preventing and responding to African security challenges. We will continue to develop innovative, low-cost, and small footprint approaches consistent with the blueprint for the Joint Force of 2020.

Throughout Africa, small teams of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coastguardsmen, and DoD civilians and contractors, along with teammates from many other U.S. government agencies, conduct a wide range of engagements in support of U.S. security interests. I believe that with a comparatively small resource investment, we can continue to achieve tangible results in Africa.

In order to realize success in our mission we must: PREPARE, in cooperation with our partners and allies, to respond to future crises and contingencies; PREVENT future conflicts by continuing to strengthen our partners' defense capabilities; and PREVAIL in current and future operations.

Strategic Environment

Despite numerous challenges, Africa is a continent where significant progress can be found and great potential exists. The United States is increasingly connected to African states and regional organizations through shared economic, political, and security interests, including commitments to consolidating democratic and economic progress achieved in recent years. U.S. Africa Command supports these efforts through our operations, exercises, and security cooperation activities. In the past year we have seen considerable progress in the capabilities and cooperation of regional partners in addressing threats to regional security, including the operational gains made by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces working alongside Somali, Kenyan, and Ethiopian troops against al-Shabaab, and the cooperative efforts of Algeria, Niger, Mali and Mauritania in combating AQIM.

With six of the world's fastest growing economies in the past decade, combined with democratic gains made in a number of African nations in 2011, Africa's strategic importance to the United States will continue to grow. This year will almost certainly be yet another dynamic year for Africa, with 20 national elections scheduled to occur across the continent, including five elections prompted by peace facilitation, post-conflict, and presidential successions. Some elections may result in new political and security dynamics in Africa. Through all of these changes, U.S. Africa Command will remain flexible as we move forward with our engagements in order to accomplish our strategic objectives.

The Defense Strategic Guidance notes the need for adaptable and strategically targeted approaches to meet the increasing complexity of the 21st century global security environment. Africa's sheer size, diverse population, and many fragile states are emblematic of this complexity. Africa accounts for 14 of the world's 20 weakest states in Foreign Policy's 2011 "Failed States Index." Many of its fragile states lack the capacity or political will to effectively address demographic, political, social, and economic challenges, including population growth, rapid urbanization, persistent internal conflicts, widening income inequality, burgeoning political demands, widespread disease, and increasing demands for essential resources.

Key security challenges of concern to U.S. Africa Command and our partners include the activities of al-Qa'ida and its affiliates in East Africa, the Maghreb, and the Sahel. Across the continent, illicit trafficking and its nexus with violent extremist organizations (VEOs) pose significant threats to regional stability and U.S. national interests. Illicit trafficking across the spectrum, from weapons proliferation to trafficking in narcotics and humans, contributes to instability by eroding governance and development. Many Man Portable Air Defense Systems, or MANPADS, disappeared from unsecured storage sites in Libya during the conflict last year and could potentially be trafficked to extremist groups. Also of concern are the Qadhafi regime's stock of chemical weapons and precursor chemicals, the destruction of which was interrupted by the conflict. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) verified the presence of previously undisclosed chemical weapons in a visit to Libya in January 2012, and will continue to coordinate with the government of Libya on the destruction of all chemical weapons.

U.S. Africa Command Strategy

U.S. Africa Command's strategy is fully in line with key elements of U.S. foreign policy and the recent Defense Strategic Guidance. Applying resources in a thoughtful and effective manner to strengthen the defense capabilities of our partners in Africa also remains a critical element of the Department of Defense's new Strategic Guidance. For the foreseeable future, the United States will continue to take an active approach to countering the threat posed by al-Qa'ida. Monitoring threats, working with African nations to establish control over undergoverned spaces, and taking an active approach to disrupting al-Qa'ida, are key elements of our efforts in Africa.

Due to the vast challenges and opportunities on the continent, as well as current fiscal realities, we have prioritized regions in Africa to better focus our exercises, operations and security cooperation activities. The Command's regional alignment corresponds with the African Union's regional approach. Our highest priority is the East Africa region which is the nexus for transnational threats to our nation's security. These threats include violent extremist organizations, illicit trafficking and piracy. In prioritizing engagement with individual partners, Africa Command considers our common interests, compelling U.S. national security interests, and each nation's role on the continent.

All of our efforts are guided by two principles; first that a safe, secure, and stable Africa is in our national interest, and second that Africans are best suited to address African security challenges. The United States can best address the security challenges and opportunities of the African continent by employing all of the elements of national power in cooperation with our African partners. Our strategy synchronizes our activities with those of our U.S. Government, allied, and African partners. It also details our focus areas, prioritizes regions, and ensures our activities produce sustainable effects.

U.S. Africa Command Priorities

Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremist Organizations (VEO)

Our national defense strategy stresses countering terrorism by transnational VEOs as a critical mission. We conduct operations, exercises, and theater security cooperation programs to prevent attacks against the U.S. homeland or its personnel and facilities abroad and to reduce the threat to our partners and allies.

In Somalia, al-Shabaab represents both a terrorist threat to U.S. and regional interests and an insurgent problem to the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) as well as Somali regional administrations. In a video released on 9 February 2012, al-Qa'ida and al-Shabaab jointly announced their formal merger.

Al-Shabaab continues its attempts to overthrow the TFG and gain control of Somali territory. The TFG remains dependent on international support and the presence of AMISOM peacekeepers for its survival. AMISOM successes in Mogadishu, as well as TFG, Kenyan, and Ethiopian operations in south-central Somalia, have the potential to consolidate gains against al-Shabaab and foreign fighters. Somalia faces a significant transition point in August 2012 when the TFG's mandate will expire. Current military operations provide the security necessary for progress in the political process.

Of concern in North and West Africa is the terrorist organization al-Qa'ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), which uses the undergoverned spaces of the Maghreb and Sahel as a safe haven. Originally focused on overthrowing the government of Algeria, AQIM evolved and now has a stated intent to attack western targets. AQIM continues to increase its activities in North and West Africa, including collecting large sums of money through kidnapping for ransom. In August 2011, AQIM claimed responsibility for the bombing of an Algerian military school that killed 18 people. There are clear indications that AQIM is now involved in trafficking arms from Libya. In addition, the upheavals in Libya and Tunisia have created opportunities for AQIM to establish new safe havens.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and the source of 8-11% of U.S. oil imports, has very recently experienced a significant decline in security, including a steep increase in the number of terrorist attacks by Boko Haram. Historically, Boko Haram focused on Nigerian government targets but in August of 2011, it bombed the United Nations mission in Abuja, killing 25 and injuring more than 80 individuals. Violence has escalated in the last several months with 40 killed in Christmas 2011 attacks and over 180 killed in January 2012 in Kano in a series of coordinated attacks against government and police facilities.

In response to these attacks, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in some areas and sent additional military forces to northern Nigeria. We seek to work with our Nigerian partners to strengthen their capability in civil-military affairs to facilitate interaction between military forces and civilians in northern Nigeria and to improve their ability to counter improvised explosive devices. These tailored efforts will enhance Nigerian capabilities to effectively provide security to the Nigerian people and to address conditions conducive to the growth of Boko Haram. The insecurity in northern Nigeria will not be solved solely by military action. An enduring solution will require addressing the underlying conditions which lead individuals to support Boko Haram.

We actively counter these threats through a mix of security force assistance, assisting African states to establish control over undergoverned territories and, in some instances, direct military activity. Our programs and activities support and complement the Department of State's Partnership for Regional East African Counter-Terrorism (PREACT) and the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP). Our engagements focus on border security, intelligence, and tactical training. We also assist in properly equipping partner nation forces as well as encourage regional cooperation and intelligence sharing as methods to increase effectiveness.

I believe our strategy for countering-VEOs and emphasis on regional cooperation are having positive effects. In June of 2011, the nations of Mauritania and Mali, whose forces have both trained in a variety of ways including in our annual FLINTLOCK exercise designed to help build counterterrorism capacity, collaborated to destroy an AQIM camp in northern Mali. The nations of Niger and Algeria are both aware of the threat of weapons trafficking from Libya, and are now cooperating to secure their borders. In January 2012, Algeria stopped a four vehicle convoy which was carrying over 100 assault rifles, two rocket propelled grenades (RPG), and ammunition suspected of being of Libyan origin. Furthermore, our sustained support for the troop contributing countries to the African Union Mission in Somalia has resulted in that organization being increasingly capable of countering al-Shabaab's influence.

The potential for support and strengthening of ties between these three groups (al-Shabaab, AQIM and Boko Haram) with al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Qa'ida senior leaders in Pakistan, is of particular concern and requires continued monitoring.

Countering Piracy and Illicit Trafficking

Instability on land contributes to the growth of both VEOs and other criminal activity. The free flow of commerce through the global commons is essential to U.S. economic and security interests. Piracy and other maritime crimes negatively impact the security and freedom of access for all nations to critical waterways and continue to threaten U.S. security in the waters off the East and West coast of Africa. The international community, including NATO and the European Union, is actively combating piracy in the waters off of the African continent. However, many African partners presently lack the maritime capability and capacity to effectively address piracy. Our goal is to help partner nations build their capacity to increase maritime domain awareness and security in Africa as part of the broader USG and international effort.

In the waters off the Horn of Africa and into the Indian Ocean, Somali-based piracy is a persistent threat. Pirates have demonstrated the ability to operate small watercraft at distances greater than 100 nautical miles from the coast. As the pirates move further east into the Indian Ocean and south into the Mozambique Channel, the challenges and cost associated with interdicting pirate vessels will grow due to a larger area to patrol, making vessels more vulnerable. According the Office of Naval Intelligence, the number of attempted pirate attacks decreased from 186 in 2010 to 166 in 2011; similarly, the number of successful attacks in 2010 dropped from 51 to 27 in 2011. This decline is attributed primarily to the presence of armed security teams on commercial vessels and increasing pressure from the international community in the form of naval patrols.

Somali pirates enjoy sanctuary and freedom of movement on land relatively unimpeded by regional forces. The emergence of armed security teams on commercial vessels, which is reducing the number of successful attacks, may be forcing Somali pirates to adopt new tactics to earn ransoms. A growing concern regarding Somali clan based criminal networks is land-based kidnapping for ransom.

Piracy and armed robbery at sea are also a persistent and growing threat in West Africa's Gulf of Guinea. The International Maritime Bureau statistics document an increase in reported attacks from 28 in 2010 to 39 in 2011. Unlike piracy in the waters off East Africa, attacks in the Gulf of Guinea tend to focus on theft of cargo and kidnapping of individuals crewmembers for ransom, and more frequently result in the injury or death of crewmembers.

Our objectives for maritime security include developing maritime domain awareness, increasing response capabilities, and fostering regional integration and cooperation. Our activities are carried out pursuant to a variety of DoD (title 10) and State (title 22) authorities. Some of these are military-to-military authorities like 10 U.S.C. 1051 and 2010. While others are carried out in cooperation and coordination with Department of State pursuant to authorities such as International Military Education and Training, Foreign Military Sales and Financing, and Peace Keeping Operations. Our flagship maritime security engagement program is Africa Partnership Station (APS). APS provides sustained engagement using mobile training teams, interagency, and international trainers, working from U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and international partner nations' vessels. Beginning this year, APS will have a construct of "training African trainers" to enable African maritime forces to provide the same level of instruction without U.S. personnel. To date, APS engagements have involved 21 nations and trained more than 7,700 maritime security professionals.

U.S. Africa Command also works closely with African regional organizations to promote and facilitate enhanced regional dialogue and cooperation on maritime security issues. In July 2011, U.S. Africa Command along with the African Center for Strategic Studies sponsored the Maritime Safety and Security Seminar with subject matter experts from the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The seminar provided a venue for the two groups to discuss the wide range of maritime security threats and to align their strategies to confront maritime threats. U.S. Africa Command was able to provide a neutral venue and foster the development of a draft agreement between the two organizations that delineates legal roles and promotes interregional cooperation.

Increasingly, African states are taking ownership of security challenges and are working together to combat shared threats. In response to the piracy threat in the Gulf of Guinea, Benin and Nigeria are conducting joint maritime patrols. The nations of Togo and Ghana are expected to join in these patrols as well. ECCAS is also conducting joint patrols in the Gulf of Guinea, with Cameroon, Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. In November 2011, ECOWAS conducted a conference to discuss further regional cooperation to combat piracy in the region. Activities conducted to increase maritime security, also contribute to reducing the potential exploitation of undergoverned maritime space by violent extremists or criminal organizations.

Many of the same conditions conducive to VEOs and maritime crime are also exploited by criminal elements for illicit trafficking across the spectrum, from sales of weapons to potential trafficking in narcotics and humans. The emergence of complex networks of transnational criminals, narcotics traffickers, VEOs, and other actors necessitates a greater emphasis on countering illicit trafficking (CIT) on land and at sea. The primary objective of our CIT efforts is the development of legitimate, effective, and accountable security forces capable of combating narcotics, weapons trafficking, and other forms of illicit trafficking. We prioritize support to partner nations whose efforts prevent or disrupt the convergence of illicit trafficking and VEOs.

Last year we conducted 71 CIT training events with 24 African partner nations using both section 1033 of the FY 1998 NDAA (support to counter-drug activities of certain foreign governments) and section 1004 of the FY 1991 NDAA (support to counter-drug activities of other government agencies). We supported bases of operation in Ghana and Liberia used to enhance maritime security operations in the Gulf of Guinea. Additionally, we implemented five projects to facilitate information sharing with our partner nations. Through increased information sharing, Cape Verde successfully executed its largest drug seizure valued at $100 million. These modest efforts relative to demand are paying dividends in increased cooperation and effectiveness against illicit trafficking capabilities.

Partnering to Strengthen Defense Capabilities

U.S. Africa Command assists African partners to develop the capabilities required to combat VEOs, piracy, illicit trafficking, and prevent conflict. Increasing the ability of Africans to prevent, mitigate, and resolve conflicts leads to increases in stability and can create the conditions conducive to development. Building partner capacity is also important because it promotes the sharing of costs and responsibility for security on the African continent.

Our capacity building activities complement Department of State programs and are planned with the embassy country team and the partner nation. We focus on the development of professional militaries which are disciplined, capable, and responsible to civilian authorities and committed to the well being of their citizens and protecting human rights. Our efforts focus on increasing the capability and capacity of African partner nations to serve as trained, equipped agents of stability and security on the African continent.

The majority of our engagements are conducted by small teams led by our Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine and Special Operations Components at a low cost and with a small footprint. African militaries are very receptive to this approach which allows us to cultivate the personal relationships that are so important to our efforts to deepen institutional relationships and build capacity. Given the imperative to reduce costs, we have focused our exercise program on multilateral exercises to make judicious use of resources. An added benefit of multilateral exercises is they develop relationships between nations and contribute to regional cooperation.

One of our primary foci is support to African nations who are willing and able to provide forces to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other peacekeeping operations. In support of the Department of State's Global Peace Operations Initiatives (GPOI) and the African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) programs, we provide military mentors to support pre-deployment training. We work extensively with the nations of Uganda and Burundi as they provide the majority of forces to AMISOM to date. Last year we assisted the forces of Djibouti in preparing for their deployment to support AMISOM. Despite some challenges, Djibouti deployed a 100-man advance element of its pledged infantry battalion of over 800 troops. This year we look forward to assisting Sierra Leone as it prepares peacekeeping forces for deployment to Somalia, and we would also look for ways to assist Kenyan forces, consistent with our prior trainings and as appropriate, given AMISOM plans to incorporate Kenyans into the mission.

In the Great Lakes Region of Africa, the United States is engaged in a number of efforts to help address violent armed groups and to promote security. For several years, the people and Governments of Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan have worked to eliminate the threat posed by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), one of Africa's most violent and persistent armed groups, which has brutalized civilians in the region for a quarter-century.

Consistent with the bipartisan legislation on the LRA passed by Congress in 2010 and signed into law by the President, the United States continues to pursue a comprehensive, multi-year strategy to help our regional partners mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA. As part of that strategy, President Obama reported to Congress in October that he had authorized a small number of U.S. forces to deploy to the LRA-affected region and to act as advisors to the militaries that are pursuing the LRA. About 100 U.S. personnel deployed to support the regional effort. These U.S. forces do not have an operational role and are focused on assisting and advising host nation forces. An important aspect of their mission is to enhance the capacity of our partners to coordinate and fuse intelligence with effective operational planning so they are better able to plan and conduct operations with the goal of removing from the battlefield Joseph Kony and other senior leadership of the LRA.

Our military advisors are sensitive to the challenges of civilian protection and are incorporating protection considerations into training and operational planning support. U.S. Africa Command is also implementing a rewards program intended to enhance information-gathering efforts throughout LRA-affected areas. Our support to addressing the LRA threat is embedded within a broader strategy and complemented by civilian efforts to include encouraging members of the LRA to defect and peacefully surrender, and we are working closely with the Department of State and USAID as a result.

Ultimately, success in countering the LRA will depend upon the continued resolve and partnership of the affected countries as they work together to remove the LRA's top leaders from the battlefield and seek to encourage the defection and disarmament of others.

In East Africa, the Republic of South Sudan continues efforts to improve its capabilities addressing immediate security and humanitarian concerns. Tensions between Sudan and South Sudan have been and remain a source of regional instability. Disagreements between the two nations remain over the contentious issues of border demarcation, wealth sharing primarily related to oil revenue, and debt forgiveness. Ongoing violence remains a challenge to both governments and the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.

As of February 2012, the two Sudans are engaged in difficult negotiations related to transit fees for oil. The two sides remain deeply divided over these issues but the future of both nations will depend on their ability to peacefully address this and other post-referendum issues.

Our activities in South Sudan will focus on assisting with the development of the Ministry of Defense and the transformation of their military. We will concentrate on developing the institutional processes of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) general headquarters and mission critical forces focused on command and control, discipline of the force, and mobility. Our efforts in security force assistance are expected to begin in 3rd quarter fiscal year 2012.

In our efforts to strengthen defense capabilities of African partners, the National Guard State Partnership Program is an incredibly important component. Currently, there are eight partnerships in Africa (Botswana and North Carolina, Ghana and North Dakota, Liberia and Michigan, Morocco and Utah, Nigeria and California, Senegal and Vermont, South Africa and New York, Tunisia and Wyoming). The Michigan National Guard is providing 24 personnel in support of Operation ONWARD LIBERTY to conduct training in defense sector reform. I have asked General McKinley, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, to consider adding two State Partnerships this year and to continue to explore future growth.

Our Component Commands bring valuable assets and tailored experience necessary for successful capacity building efforts. One example of this is the United States Marine Corps Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force (SPMAGTF) which established a rotational presence in Sigonella, Italy, in October 2011 to support the command.

Managed and tasked by U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Africa, the SPMAGTF is tailored to conduct theater security cooperation engagements. The SPMAGTF consists of just under 200 Marines, organized in five-14 man teams, with two KC-130 aircraft. These teams will deploy in support of PREACT and ACOTA missions. The SPMAGTF is an invaluable asset for the command and increases our ability to engage on the continent. In addition, the SPMAGTF provides the command a limited crisis response capability for natural disasters, evacuations, and other crises.

Beginning this year, we will begin Africa Partnership Flight or APF. Modeled after the Navy's successful Africa Partnership Station, APF features low footprint, short duration, high-impact, sustainable and predictable engagement with our African partners. APF will become the primary Air Force program for conducting building partnership capacity and will enable committed African states to enhance their aviation capabilities, foster greater regional cooperation, and increase air domain safety and security in Africa. The first event under APF is scheduled for March 2012, in Ghana.

Finally, the Department of the Army has selected United States Army Africa (USARAF) to conduct the pilot Regionally-Aligned Brigade (RAB) rotation in FY13. This brigade, a tailored Army General Purpose Force, is designed to help support U.S. Africa Command's validated requirements for security cooperation activities throughout Africa.

Preparing and Responding to Crisis

U.S. Africa Command is always prepared to conduct humanitarian, disaster relief, and other operations as directed. The dynamic security environment on the continent requires the command headquarters and our components to be trained and ready to plan and

responses for a wide range of contingencies. Our operating locations on the continent support our operations and provide the ability to rapidly respond if required.

We demonstrated our ability to respond to a crisis in the spring of 2011 when the command directed coalition military operations in Libya, which prevented the Qadhafi regime from committing mass atrocities against the citizens of Benghazi. After the end of NATO Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR on 31 October 2011, we established a joint task force to command and control post conflict U.S. operations related to Libya. Joint Task Force ODYSSEY GUARD, commanded by U.S. Army Africa, was instrumental in providing support to the Department of State as it reopened the U.S. embassy in Tripoli.

Joint Task Force ODYSSEY GUARD also provided explosive ordnance disposal assistance and monitored the security of the chemical weapons in the Waddan storage complex.

Critical Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) assets based in Sigonella, Italy, and Souda Bay, Greece, were used in Operation ODYSSEY DAWN and NATO Operation UNIFIED PROTECTOR and continue to be used today to monitor illegal trafficking and violent extremist organizations.

ISR assets are a key enabler for many of our operations and engagements. The information provided by these assets is used to develop a full picture of the activities of VEOs and other activities of interest. Without operating locations on the continent, ISR capabilities would be curtailed, potentially endangering U.S. security. We currently operate ISR assets from various locations and continue to explore additional operating locations in order to improve access and on-station times for our ISR missions. Given the vast geographic space and diversity in threats, the command requires increased ISR assets to adequately address the security challenges on the continent.

On the African continent, we have strategic locations that provide a hub and spoke operational reach that covers the continent with C-130 aircraft operational capability. Our only enduring presence on the continent is Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, which provides an essential command and control and logistics hub for Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) to plan and support operations, exercises and security cooperation activities throughout East Africa. Camp Lemonnier is also an essential regional power projection base that enables the operations of multiple combatant commands; U.S. Transportation Command, U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Africa Command. The requirements for Camp Lemonnier as a key location for national security and power projection are enduring.

New mission requirements at Camp Lemonnier necessitate new facilities and upgrades. We will take measured steps to move from expeditionary and temporary facilities which have been cobbled together over time to an enduring austere footprint. Additionally, we will prudently evolve to improve force protection, safety, and energy standards. We continue to work with the Department of the Navy to update the existing master plan. I very much appreciate the continued support the Congress has provided for military construction projects at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.

In addition to Camp Lemonnier, the command leverages support from U.S. European Command's and Defense Logistics Agency's military infrastructure to support operations in a time of crisis. U.S. bases in Europe provide geographic proximity, infrastructure, maintenance support and flexibility. European based forces were absolutely critical to operation ODYSSEY DAWN; simply stated, we could not have responded on the timelines required for operations in Libya had air and maritime forces not been forward-stationed in Europe.

The value of our operating locations on the continent and the readiness of the command's headquarters and its components were further demonstrated in January 2012 when the command, at the request of the Department of Justice, planned and conducted the successful hostage rescue of an American citizen and a Danish citizen who were held captive in Somalia.

Our headquarters location in Stuttgart, Germany, has been a topic of discussion since the command was established. The final decision on location was deferred until 2012 by then Secretary of Defense Gates. The Office of the Secretary of Defense is leading a comprehensive study of the factors involved in the headquarters basing, and we are providing complete data and information to support their analysis of the comparative costs, benefits, and risks of various basing options. Until a final decision is made, we will continue to accomplish our missions from Stuttgart, where our proximity to Africa, both geographically and in terms of time zones, facilitates our ability to build relationships with our African partners, and provides a location where our service members, civilians, and their families are well supported.

Fiscal Responsibility

U.S. Africa Command recognizes the national security imperative of deficit reduction and continues to seek innovative, low-cost concepts for activities and functions across the command. I have directed the staff to look beyond the assigned reductions with a goal of further efficiencies in the command's budget requirements. We conducted a study of the headquarters functions to seek further efficiencies and improve effectiveness. Through this study, we found areas where we believe we can combine functions and reduce manpower requirements with a minimum of risk.

To reduce fuel costs at Camp Lemonnier, the containerized living units (CLU) will be renovated through a $1 million project funded by the DoD Operational Energy Plans and Programs Office. The CLUs will be redesigned incorporating energy efficient air conditioning units, increased insulation, and reflective exterior coatings. As part of the project, a highly energy efficient SuperCLU will be developed. The projected energy saving are 54% for CLUs and 82% for SuperCLUs thus reducing fuel costs for the camp.

We recognize our security cooperation engagements must be innovative, low-cost, and if sustained, yield more than immediate budgetary savings. The outcomes of our security cooperation programs are twofold, first as African partners become increasingly capable of addressing their own security and countering violent extremist organizations, the burden of addressing those threats is shared, reducing budgetary and personnel costs to the United States. Second, while it is difficult to prove that we have prevented a crisis by working with partners in peacetime, we know that the cost of intervention far exceeds that of prevention.

How Congress Can Help

The African continent has many challenges which require collaboration and support of all the agencies of government and the support of Congress. At this time, the command is properly resourced; however, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) continues to be a challenge to satisfy mission requirements. We are working with the Department of Defense to gain additional ISR to monitor the activities of al-Qa'ida affiliates in East Africa, the Maghreb, and the Sahel and the Lord's Resistance Army in Central Africa.

In order to conduct many of our programs we use a mix of Department of State and Department of Defense authorities. One example of this is the APS program where DoD Title 10 authorities pay for the movement of ships and personnel while State Department's PKO funding pays for the actual training activities of African personnel. An example of how Congressional support provided critical authority at an appropriate time is the Global Security Contingency Fund (GSCF), approved in the FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. This was a first step in streamlining State and DOD authorities for security assistance and the two departments are working closely to utilize the GSCF in the coming year.

The Department of State's ability, through security assistance funding, to work on the same problem set from a different angle is beneficial and would suffer if its funding were reduced, weakening overall U.S. government abilities to advance U.S. objectives on the continent. We will work with our interagency partners to ensure the resources you provide are appropriately tied to our highest defense and foreign policy priorities. I thank this committee and Congress for its continued support of our team and our mission.

Another example of how Congressional support provided critical authority at an appropriate time is the new authority of section 1207(n) in the FY12 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Pursuant to that authority, we are working with the Department of State to plan our support to build the capacity of the counter-terrorism forces of Ethiopia and those countries engaged in AMISOM. This is an opportune time to exercise this authority as al-Shabaab in Somalia is facing a fight on three fronts with forces from AMISOM and the Somali Transitional Federal Government, Kenya, and Ethiopia actively engaged. We appreciate the additional authority and believe it will enable AMISOM forces to continue their progress against al-Shabaab.

We also appreciate the new authority under section 1206 of the FY12 NDAA to provide logistics support, supplies, and services for countries participating in counter-LRA operations.

We feel this authority will enable continued steady progress by our regional partners toward our mutual goal of defeating the LRA and bringing Joseph Kony to justice.

Finally, we welcome visits by you and by your staffs. The Members and staff who have had the opportunity to travel in Africa gain a deeper appreciation for both the challenges and the many opportunities that are presented in this large and diverse continent.


U.S. Africa Command will continue its operations, exercises, and security cooperation in order to protect America, Americans, and American interests from threats emanating from the African continent and advance U.S. policy goals. We will prioritize and focus our engagements to counter the most significant threats to U.S. security. We look forward to being the security partner of choice for African nations by building lasting, beneficial partnerships. Our success is dependent upon close collaboration with our interagency partners, embassy country teams, African regional organizations, and African nations.

We believe that over the long run, it is Africans who should address African security challenges and that we most effectively advance U.S. security interests through focused and sustained engagement. In strengthening African defense capabilities and capacities, we enable African states to take ownership of their challenges and strengthen their leadership roles. We believe that for a relatively low resource cost, our programs are making a positive difference.

Our past successes would not have been possible without the dedication of the entire U.S. Africa Command team -- Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coastguardsmen, civilians, contractors, and our interagency teammates -- and their families.

During my travels throughout my first year with U.S. Africa Command, I have heard many great African proverbs, however, I have learned one which I think is particularly applicable to U.S. Africa Command:

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

We, at U.S. Africa Command, choose to go far. We choose to go together, with our Africa partners as well as together with our many interagency partners, to better meet their security interests and to advance the security interests of the United States.