As part of the U.S. European Command Review, the Secretary of Defense publicly announced plans to make U.S. force adjustments within the European area of operations during a press briefing in Washington D.C., July 29.
The change in force posture is designed to support the National Defense and Security strategies, adapt to changing global strategic environment, and best address global priorities.
In response to the President’s direction, efforts are now underway to develop plans and options to relocate U.S. Africa Command headquarters and forces from Germany. The command will look first at options elsewhere in Europe, but also will consider options in the United States.
“U.S. Africa Command has been told to plan to move. While it will likely take several months to develop options, consider locations, and come to a decision, the command has started the process. We will ensure we continue to support our host nation and African partners and our families and forces throughout,” said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command.
The command stood up in 2008 to protect and advance U.S. national interests in Africa and develop capable, professional partner nation military forces there and has been headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany since its inception.
“It is important our African partners understand our commitment to them remains strong,” said Townsend. “U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with our African and other partners to address mutual interests.”
Continued cooperation with German partners remains critical to solving complex international challenges.
“We are very grateful to Germany for their partnership and serving as host to Headquarters U.S. Africa Command. International cooperation remains important to addressing mutual security challenges, especially in Africa,” said Townsend.
Potential options will be assessed to ensure appropriate positioning of forces to deal with future challenges.
The Department of Defense remains the lead for overseas force adjustment decisions and the global combatant command review.
“We remain committed to our forces and families,” said Townsend. "We will conduct a deliberate and thorough planning process to ensure our team is prepared for what lies ahead.”