Statement from AFRICOM Commander U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend on the activation of Joint Task Force - Quartz

The United States is not withdrawing or disengaging from East Africa. We remain committed to helping our African partners build a more secure future. We also remain capable of striking Al-Shabaab at the time and place of our choosing—they should not test us.



By U.S. Africa Command Public Affairs United States Africa Command Stuttgart, Germany Dec 19, 2020
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Statement attributable to U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, U.S. Africa Command commander.

I directed the activation of a joint task force, JTF-Quartz, built around the headquarters of Special Operations Command-Africa, to oversee Operation Octave Quartz, the directed re-positioning of U.S. forces from Somalia to other bases in East Africa.

JTF-Quartz is commanded by the SOCAF commander, Maj. Gen. Dag Anderson. I have just returned from visiting him at his forward headquarters in East Africa where I met with Dag and his commanders to review their posture and plans. JTF-Quartz is ready to go.

To be clear, the U.S. is not withdrawing or disengaging from East Africa.  We remain committed to helping our African partners build a more secure future. We also remain capable of striking Al-Shabaab at the time and place of our choosing—they should not test us.

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