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This information is intended to provide procedures and a checklist for inbound AFRICOM personnel who are assigned to positions on the continent of Africa in Offices of Security of Cooperation and under the Chief of Mission authority.

Office of Security Cooperation - information for AFRICOM inbound personnel who are assigned to the continent of Africa 

NOTE: It is important to know that if your duty assignment is in Africa, JTR regulations will be different than other geographic areas.

For those personnel inbound to United States Africa Command Office of Security Cooperation (OSC) on the African continent, please review the administrative letter provided to you by J5M Directorate Support Division (DSD), training officer. This administrative letter is your primary source of information to begin your transition and will provide you with all the pre-arrival requirements in detail.

The DSD training officer is your primary contact and will not only assist you prior to and upon your arrival to, but will also be available during your assignment on the continent of Africa.

Upon notification of assignment:

  1. AFRICOM Pre-arrival:    

   a. Complete required training: Defense Institute of Security Cooperation Studies (DISCS) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio and the Foreign Affairs Counter Threat Course (FACT) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

 OCS Chiefs only: Complete the three day DSCA orientation briefing at the National Capital Region (NCR) in DC.

   b. Obtain a no-fee diplomatic passport and appropriate country visas (as applicable), prior to reporting to your country of assignment on the African continent. 

   c. See Administrative Letter for further on-line requirements.


2)    AFRICOM In-Processing:

You are authorized a maximum of six (6) days TDY en-route at HQ U.S. AFRICOM, Stuttgart, Germany prior to your arrival at your permanent duty station (PDS) for the purpose of conducting in-processing and to receive various briefings.

See Administrative Letter for detail information.

AFRICOM's OSC In-Processing is designed to make your transition to Africa as painless and predictable as an overseas move can be.

For any questions, please contact the DSD at:

Commercial: +49-711-729-2505/4867/4983/4899

DSN: 314-421-2505/4867/4983/4899


The Institute of Security Cooperation Studies (ISCS)

You are authorized TDY at the Institute of Security Cooperation Studies (ISCS), located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, to attend the Security Assistance Management - Overseas Course, school code 351, course number SCM-O, for a period of 3 weeks.

All military personnel must wear appropriate uniform combinations with a tie, tie-tab, or necktie during certain periods of the year. For travel planning, ISCS is approximately 45 minutes from Dayton Airport. All students travelling under ISCS funds must contact ISCS /DAB at DSN 785-8371/8220 or email to get a preauthorized fund cite when the class starts within 45 days of orders being issued. (email is better than phone.) Rental car is not authorized to be funded by the ISCS fund site.

When you request fund cites to ISCS/DAB, you must provide the following to them:

  • Student’s name

  • Course Number

  • Class Number

  • Dates of the class

  • Travel Order Number, whether or not your TDY is being processed through DTS, and if so, your current organization’s DTS ID

    SAM-O has three, pre-requisite online classes that students should complete prior to arrival at ISCS: (1) Anti-Terrorism and Force Protection Level I Training, (2) Security Assistance Officer Overseas Entitlements, and (3) Ethics and Standards of Conduct.

    Further information about ISCS, to include reporting instructions and VOQ reservation information can be obtained from their web site:


Diplomatic Passport Application

All personnel permanently assigned to the Office of Security Cooperation are under the Chief of Mission (COM) authority.  You are therefore authorized a no-fee diplomatic passport; each family member traveling with the service member, regardless of age, must also possess a diplomatic passport.

Expedite a Passport application for a service member and command sponsored dependent family members is authorized.  Visit the Foreign Clearance Guide (FCG) to become familiar with the visa and other specific requirements for entry to the country of assignment. Also visit the Department of Defense passport offices at for required documents to submit for your passport and visa applications.

The normal processing time to obtain your passport/visas may take up to 3 months so please ensure you continuously and actively follow-up with your servicing passport section.


Medical Clearance Process

Locating to Africa frequently means an austere isolated assignment area where medical treatment may not be readily available.

Consequently, all military personnel and their family members being considered for permanent change of station (PCS) to Africa must undergo medical clearance process IAW service guidelines.

To be medically cleared for PCS to Africa, an individual must be free from chronic medical conditions, and any duty limitation.

For individuals with medical conditions and/or duty limitations, a medical waiver request and review by the U.S. AFRICOM service component surgeon is required before being placed on PCS orders to Africa.

Please be advised that in many areas, health service support infrastructure in Africa is limited in comparison to what you may be accustomed.  Prescription drugs not available via mail order in Africa.  Individuals with chronic medical conditions, or limitations that require accommodation such as continuing diagnostics, or other evaluations should not PCS to Africa unless a medical waiver has been granted by U.S. AFRICOM.

Service member are responsible to ensure their immunizations are current for their countries of assignment.  For current information and DoD immunization requirements, visit the Defense Health Agency website,  In addition, it’s important to remember that you must possess proof of Yellow Fever vaccination or medical waiver required upon entry into any African country – and it is up to that country to admit you.

Upon notification of PCS and prior to transfer, service members are required to visit the moving made easy Tricare site at and follow the instructions for transferring their Tricare prime option.

If care is needed while in transit, members are required to contact his/her current regional contractor for counseling on urgent or emergency medical care during PCS moves.  Contact information for each regional contractor can be found at In the event of a true medical emergency while in transit (safeguarding life, limb, or eyesight, or to relieve suffering, or self-risk or harm), the beneficiary should immediately seek treatment at the nearest hospital’s emergency department.


Transportation of Pets

If traveling with pets, they must be checked by a local veterinarian to verify all vaccinations and inoculations are up to date.

It is strongly recommended to protect your pet by having a local veterinarian place a tracking microchip in your pet.

Obtain a copy of your pet's medical records prior to departing your current command for assignment to Africa.

Check with airline and new host-country laws for breed restrictions.  You should contact the passenger information office if PCSing overseas to make airline reservations and arrangements for shipment of your pet(s).  If the airline you travel on cannot accommodate the transport of your pet(s) to Stuttgart, Germany, you will be required to instead fly into Frankfurt International Airport (FRA), which accepts the transport of pet(s).

Transportation of pet(s) is at the service member’s expense, to include transportation from Frankfurt to Stuttgart.


Household Goods (HHG)

Effective 1 October 2013, DoD and U.S. Coast Guard personnel who are assigned official duty to a diplomatic assignment under a Chief of Mission, and classified as permanent personnel or temporary duty personnel in excess of 90 days, are authorized the shipment of household goods/TDY weight allowance using Department of State transportation service IAW Defense Transportation Regulation (DTR), part IV, Appendix F.


SPECIAL NOTE on WEIGHT LIMITATIONS:  A limited shipment allowance is set at 3,265 kilograms or 7,200 lbs net weight regardless of family status and will be authorized in lieu of full shipment when post provides adequate furnishing housing.  Please refer to PPCIG Country Instructions tab at:

For shipment or storage of a vehicle, please refer to DoD SDDC PPCIG at:


Consumables allowed in Africa

IAW JTR Vol 1, Appendix F, service members assigned to the countries listed below are authorized 1,250 pounds shipment of consumables per tour-year.  The countries to which this applies are: Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe



Email the following for more information:


The local U.S. embassy team can also provide information on their experiences and how they worked their consumables, so you are encouraged to reach out to them as soon as possible.

Below is a list of items for families moving to Africa to consider packing in their consumables shipment.

  • Mexican/Latin American food ingredients

  • Asian/Indian food ingredients (In East Africa, Indian spices are commonly available)

  • peanut butteror almond butter-- considered a liquid for State Department pouch purposes

  • any nuts you like to cook or bake with -- generally, peanuts are available locally

  • canned pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce for holidays

  • hot sauces

  • children's liquid medicines -- for colds, motion sickness, etc.

  • canned corn -- African corn tends to be very tough

  • brown, white, and confectionary sugar, if you like to bake
  • alternative sweeteners, like agave, rice syrup, or Splenda-type

  • cake and brownie mixes*
  • prepared frosting

  • canned fruit for pies

  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • relish and pickles
  • tomato paste

  • baby food

  • oils -- canola, olive, coconut, etc.
  • shredded coconut

  • marshmallows* or marshmallow cream

  • chocolate chips!! -- when they come through the pouch they melt*

  • dark chocolate and baking chocolate*

  • powdered sugar*

  • cocoa powder*

  • vanilla extract

  • every spice you can find at the Dollar Store

  • cream of tartar

  • baking soda

  • baking powder

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • horseradish, chopped garlic, chopped ginger in jars

  • spaghetti sauce and/or canned tomatoes

  • Crisco-type fat

  • pie crust mixes*

  • maple syrup or pancake syrup
  • vinegars -- white, balsamic, apple cider, red wine, rice wine, etc.
  • jello, gelatin, pudding mixes

  • sweetened condensed milk

  • evaporated milk

  • soup mixes for dips

  • chicken or vegetable stock in cansor cubes/powders

  • canned beans

  • dried fruit – raisins, prunes, berries, dates, etc.

  • lemon, peppermint, almond baking flavorings

  • cake and cookie decorations – sprinkles, etc.

  • other specialty sauces you use

  • artichoke hearts

  • favorite brand or type of flour*

  • favorite cereals*

  • cornbread mix*

  • gluten-free baking ingredients*


  • wines and beer

  • alcohol -- your drink(s) of choice

  • coffee/water flavor enhancers, i.e. Torini syrups

  • coffee maker filters

  • your favorite soda/pop, unless it is Coke


  • pet food in bags* or cans


  • contact lens solution

  • eye glass lens wipes

  • favorite moisturizer, etc.

  • rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide

  • Kleenex-type tissues

  • toilet paper

  • paper towels

  • feminine hygiene products

  • bug spray with DEET – especially for malaria zones

  • sun block -- although only one year’s worth; it expires

  • Band-Aids, Neosporin, etc.

  • shampoo and conditioner

  • mouthwash with fluoride -- water generally is not fluoridated


  • furniture polish/oil

  • furniture touch up markers -- to polish/hide all the dings in embassy furniture

  • silver polish, if you bring any silver items

  • mops, brooms -- ones for inside and outside; they can be purchased locally, but quality isn't the same

    pot-scrubbing brushes

  • toilet brushes -- frequently, there are multiple bathrooms in embassy housing

  • steel wool

  • Magic Eraser-type cleaning “sponges”

  • scouring powder -- Ajax, Comet, etc.

  • dryer sheets, if you use them

  • laundry detergent, particularly liquid -- local kinds are more expensive

  • dishwashing liquid -- Dawn fixes a lot of things

  • a box or two of dishwasher machine detergent for treating tough stains

  • OxyClean-type powdered oxygen bleach

  • baking soda for cleaning

  • white vinegar for cleaning


  • trash bags -- 13 gallon for kitchen and others for other trash cans - maybe large ones for outside, too

  • Ziploc-type baggies -- all sizes

  • aluminum foil

  • wax paper

  • parchment paper

  • freezer paper

  • plastic wrap

  • batteries -- expensive locally and generally of poorer quality


  • party supplies/decorations for your children, and gender-neutral gifts for B-day parties that they will attend

  • birthday candles

  • art supplies for children (or yourself)

  • candy canes, plastic Easter eggs, and other decorations for religious and American holidays (I have frozen my candy canes and used them on the tree for three years.)

  • sewing supplies (extra little bottle of sewing machine oil)

  • paper and supplies for your printer (with all items, check with your packers about shipping rules)


*Consider storing these items in the freezer when you arrive.  Check all your consumables regularly for signs of damage, etc.