Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Headlines and Timeline

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The following is the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Headlines and Timeline. Also see main article Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.


  • 6 November 2001: "US seeks friends in Horn of Africa" by Simon Denyer: "America is likely to focus more attention on the Horn of Africa and less on the rest of the continent as it seeks new friends and new alliances in its war on terrorism, observers and diplomats say."
  • December 2001: "Horn of Africa: al-Qaida regroups?", Le Monde diplomatique: "Sudan and Somalia are likely to be on Washington's list of world terrorist targets, and it could also launch military operations in the Horn of Africa, where al-Qaida's links are well-established, although little known."
  • 8 December 2001: "Who's Next? ... Somalia?", "A team of senior British military officers who visited US Central Command in Tampa, Florida, last week was asked to prepare the strategy for attacks on sites in Somalia."


  • 12 January 2002: "Who's Next? ... Somalia?", "Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported Jan. 7 that a US military strike in Somalia 'could be just days away.' The comments, attributed to unnamed Pentagon and State Department officials, 'follow a steady stream of intelligence...that has led the United States to believe that crack al-Qaeda terrorist troops are successfully regrouping at bases around the capital, Mogadishu.'... The UK Guardian reported Dec. 20 [2001] that 'Americans in dark glasses,' who said they were from the US embassy in Nairobi, were flown into Baidoa, Somalia, for secret talks with the Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA), one of the country's feuding tribal militias. Met at the local airfield by RRA gunmen, the men brushed off a reporter's question and were whisked away in 'three battered pick-up trucks loaded with youthful gunmen.' The article strongly implied the men were CIA officers seeking to groom the RRA as a US proxy force."
  • 23 September 2002: "U.S. to Intervene Against Pacifists in Somalia?", "USA Today reported Sept. 19 that the over 800 U.S. troops now massing in Djibouti are poised for action not only across the straits in Yemen--but also across the border in Somalia. The troops--including Army Green Berets and a Delta Force 'snatch team'--are reportedly preparing to capture or kill suspected al-Qaeda fugitives in operations coordinated with CIA paramilitaries. Military action is also being considered in Sudan, US intelligence officials told the paper."
  • 30 September 2002: "U.S. Military Grows in Djibouti by Andrew England, AP: "The five-month-old U.S. base in this former French colony just miles across the Red Sea from Yemen and within striking distance of Iraq is no longer a secret. But finding out what the Americans are up to is another matter.... But the Pentagon acknowledged only that it had sent 800 soldiers, including special forces, to the new base. Nothing was said about the 1,500 Marines training at Obock, 30 miles north of Djibouti town across the Gulf of Tadjoura.... Giant U.S. Air Force cargo planes swoop in and out of Djibouti's small airport every day as camouflaged MH-53 helicopters with the word 'Marines' barely visible on their shells ferry men and equipment to and from Le Monier.... France still maintains 2,850 military personnel in Djibouti 25 years after independence."
  • 3 November 2002: "Pentagon plans military HQ for Horn of Africa", "A strike force of some 800 US special operations forces and marines already are on station in the former French colony of Djibouti for possible use against Al Qaeda in the area.... They say no operations have been launched so far, and the forces in Djibouti have engaged mainly in training and expanding contact with government forces in Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya and Yemen."
  • 8 November 2002: "US beefs up Horn anti-terror base,"
  • 10 December 2002: "Rumsfeld in Horn of Africa to Assess Anti-Terrorist Assistance", Department of State: "Rumsfeld said the U.S. military is already receiving valuable assistance from three countries in the region. He also said the United States has seized the opportunity offered by Djibouti to position some forces there."
  • 13 December 2002: "US faces test to secure E. Africa. The USS Mount Whitney could arrive Friday in Djibouti with an additional 400 US troops" by Danna Harman, Christian Science


  • 10 January 2003: "Joint Task Force Horn of Africa Briefing" by Maj. Gen. John F. Sattler, USMC, commander, Combined Joint Task Force.
  • 10 January 2003: "U.S. Troops Fighting Terrorism in the Horn of Africa" by Kathleen T. Rhem, American Forces Press Service: "From the sea and on the land, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa detects, disrupts and defeats terrorists in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Yemen...."
  • 15 January 2003: "Guest Column: Marines at Risk in Djibouti", DefenseWatch/Soldiers For The Truth.
  • 23 January 2003: "Joint Task Force Horn of Africa Briefing,"
  • February 2003: "U.S. Military Programs in sub-Saharan Africa, 2001-2003" by Daniel Volman,
  • February 2003: "Armada Arrayed for Anticipated Action; Largest Deployment Since the Gulf War" by Richard R. Burgess, "The command ship USS Mount Whitney has been staged to Djibouti to serve as headquarters of Combined Joint Task Force­Horn of Africa--which was activated on 13 December 2002 to support the global war on terrorism. The Mount Whitney and several hundred Marines and SEALs already have participated in a number of exercises with foreign ships assigned to Combined Task Force 150 in the Gulf of Aden and Djibouti."
  • 6 February 2003: "Djibouti: a new army behind the wire", Le Monde diplomatique: "The United States army is back in the Horn of Africa, 10 years after its disastrous incursion in Somalia. This time it is there to fight terrorism. More than 1,000 soldiers are stationed in Djibouti, once the French Somali Coast protectorate, at Camp Lemonier, originally occupied by the French Foreign Legion. The base has grown steadily since they arrived last September. ... Fear has encouraged the US to make Djibouti a major, permanent base, a military marshalling yard. It is close to the Red Sea, Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf, and near Sudan, which has barely recovered from its Islamist days, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, all relatively unstable. The Combined Joint Task Force--Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) controls a US fleet, accompanied by British and Spanish ships and a small German squadron, patrolling the Gulf of Aden and the coasts of Somalia and Yemen. Last December the US state department negotiated access to airports in Ethiopia and ports in Eritrea."
  • 14 February 2003: "CJTF-HOA joins 2d MEB in live-fire exercise",
  • 14 March 2003: "CJTF-HOA EOD planner observes de-mining operations" by Cpl. Andrew W. Miller: "RONCO is a U.S. based de-mining firm that has developed an integrated humanitarian de-mining system and is funded by the U.S. state department."
  • 25 March 2003: "The murder, enslavement, and displacement of black Sudanese Christians and tribal traditionalists seems not to have made clear to the White House the true nature of (Sudan's President Gen.) Omer Bashir's regime. Not even the government-sponsored pro-Saddam rallies in Khartoum -- which have included the burning of President Bush's effigy, wrapped in American and Israeli flags -- have moved American policymakers off the appeasement track. Indeed, according to a still-unconfirmed AP report, the U.S. is now training Gen. Bashir's troops in the arts of counterterrorism in Djibouti, in the context of a program called 'Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa.'"
  • April/May 2003: "Co-Conspirators in Africa" by Elly Omondi Odhiambo, "After 11 September 2001, the Pentagon received permission from the government of Djibouti to establish the headquarters for the Joint Task Force Horn of Africa in the country. This new centre would act as an Anglo-American-German regional counter-terrorism command centre, creating a convenient buffer between Yemen and the Horn of Africa."
  • 30 April 2003: "Patterns of Global Terrorism" released by the Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Department of State.
  • May 2003: "Djiboutian Military Cross Trains with CJTF-HOA" by Cpl. Matthew J. Apprendi,
  • 3 May 2003: "Is America taking over the world?,"
  • 7 May 2003, AFP: "The force's theatre of operations covers Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.... CJFT-HOA commander General John Sattler will next week move his headquarters to a military base recently constructed in Djibouti, where some 1,200 troops, many of them special forces, are based.... When US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld visited Djibouti in December [2002], he suggested that the United States would keep a military presence in the area for several years."
  • 8 May 2003, "The U.S. counter-terrorism warship, the USS Mt Whitney, is to leave the Horn of Africa region as the operation moves into its next phase. A statement from the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) said headquarters personnel and equipment were being moved ashore into facilities at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti. The move was due to be completed by mid-May."
  • 9 May 2003: "US moves Horn of Africa anti-terrorist force to Djibouti,"
  • 9 May 2003: "U.S. Military 'Footprint' Extends to Africa" by Jim Lobe, CommonDreams.
  • 21 May 2003: "Arrival of first US military plane since 1993,"
  • 4 June 2003: "Markup Before the Subcommittee on Africa of the Committee on International Relations, House of Representatives": "...this resolution to recognize the growing importance of the United States relationship with the Republic of Djibouti.... It is important that Congress acknowledge the support that Djibouti has provided to the United States in the war on terrorism, including its hosting of 900 U.S. troops and U.S. broadcasting facilities." From the Resolution itself: "Whereas Djibouti has hosted United States military forces for over one year and has allowed United States and other coalition military forces to conduct extensive training exercises;..."
  • 12 June 2003: "Added Forces Strengthen Horn of Africa Task Force," SomalilandTimes.
  • 13 June 2003: "Added Forces Strengthen Horn of Africa Task Force," American Forces Press Service: Article discusses recent military unit arrivals and activities in the region.
  • 15 June 2003: Press Release CJTF-HOA Headquarters: "Having established a regional counter-terrorism headquarters at the newly renovated 88-acre former French Foreign Legion post, Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, the total CJTF-HOA contingent numbers more than 1,800, representing all branches of the U.S. armed services, Coalition military members and civilian personnel."
  • 20 June 2003: "Toward a Global Cavalry. Overseas Rebasing and Defense Transformation" by Thomas Donnelly, Vance Serchuk, American Enterprise Institute: "Perhaps the best measure of how radical the transformation of the U.S. military posture abroad might become can be found in recent statements--and facts--about the expanding American military presence in Africa. Although 'national security' and 'Africa' together in the same sentence has historically been understood to border on oxymoron, the war against terrorism has begun to challenge this unfortunate and dangerous decoupling. Just as Romania and Bulgaria's proximity to the Middle East has elevated them in Washington's strategic calculus, Defense Department planners quickly grasped after the September 11 attacks that the Horn of Africa and the Persian Gulf are separated less by geography than by our ignorance of geography. And unlike Eastern Europe, East Africa has long been a stomping ground of al Qaeda.... Perhaps the most visible manifestation of this shift in strategic thinking is the decision last year to establish America's first long-term military base in sub-Saharan Africa.... Although U.S. forces have been there since at least the spring of 2002, their mission--Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA)--was not formalized until December 2002."
  • 26 June 2003: "As imperialists recarve world markets, Pentagon quietly sends troops to Africa" by Monica Moorehead, "The Horn of Africa is not the only African region the Pentagon is interested in. According to an article entitled, 'Pentagon Moving Swiftly to Become Globocop,' published on the June 11 internet edition of Ghana News, the U.S. also plans to use the West African country of Ghana as a military base, initially sending 1,000 troops. The article states that while U.S. military think tanks are planning to scale back their military presence in Germany, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, they are setting their sights on establishing semi-permanent, 'forward' bases in Algeria, Morocco and perhaps Tunisia in northern Africa.... The Pentagon is also planning to establish smaller facilities in Senegal, Mali and Ghana in order to further dominate the oil-rich West African countries, especially Nigeria."
  • 6 July 2003: "Task Force aides in road construction" by Sgt. Matthew B. Roberson: "Horn of Africa engineers are working with the Djiboutian military here to improve Hol-Hol road, the only route leading to southwestern Djibouti's transportation hub of Hol-Hol. Improving Hol Hol road is expected to have significant economic impacts on Ethiopia, Somolia and Djibouti; three countries in the Task Force's area of responsibility." and Coalition, U.S forces cement partnership through idea sharing by Sgt. Bradly Shaver: "Officers from six different countries [Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Romania, South Korea and France], along with U.S. officers, are currently sharing ideas, providing insight and forging a coalition partnership...."
  • 7 July 2003: "Leave No Continent Behind" by Thomas Donnelly and Vance Serchuk, American Enterprise Institute (Washington Post).
  • 7 July 2003: "Army Clears Path for Marine Landing" by Sgt. Bradly Shaver, "NEAR DJIBOUTI - Army Reserve soldiers with 463rd Engineer Battalion, here supporting Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, cleared rocks and gravel from the coast of Djibouti, July 2, to open the beaches for Marines training in the area."
  • 10 July 2003: "26 MEUEX in Djibouti," US Marine Corps Press Release.
  • 14 July 2003: "Analysis; U.S. troops in Horn of Africa" by Beth Potter, UPI.
  • 22 July 2003: "US Providing Counter-Terrorism Military Training", "The US counter-terrorism force in the Horn of Africa has begun a three-month training exercise with the Ethiopian defence force. According to a statement issued on Wednesday, the exercise is being held at the Hurso training camp near Dire Dawa. Infantry forces assigned to the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) are providing infantry skills training on small unit tactics."
  • 30 July 2003: "11 African Nations to Set Up Task Force" by Anthony Mitchell, AP: "Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, the Seychelles, Tanzania and Uganda agreed at a two-day conference in Addis Ababa to be part of the task force."
  • August 2003: "More U.S. Troops to the Horn", "The Pentagon is sending new troops to the Horn of Africa to pursue international terrorists more aggressively, according to the senior US commander in the region.... The Horn of Africa task force has been operating from Djibouti since December. Some 1,600 US troops are at Djibouti's Camp Lemonier, also France's largest base in Africa. The troops include infantry and special operations forces from all the services. Helicopters and refueling aircraft are also based there. A team of Air Force personnel recently visited Camp Lemonier to assess the availability of ramp space, fuel and ordnance storage for fighter jets and bombers."
  • 26 August 2003: "Army Chief of Staff Visits Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa,"
  • 29 August 2003:, "HORN OF AFRICA: Djibouti 'natural gateway' for landlocked Ethiopia...".
  • September 2003: "U.S. Task Force Delivers Polio Vaccine to Ethiopia" by U.S. Army Sgt. Bradly Shaver,
  • 12 September 2003: "INSIGHTS: Djibouti Aids U.S. in War on Terror," Center for Defense Information.
  • 17 September 2003: "U.S. and French Foreign Legion Join Forces" by Sgt. Bradly Shaver, USMC Special to AFPS, New York Jewish Times.
  • 30 September 2003 [(cache file),]: "Marines, Soldiers Participate in Trilateral Firing Exercise": "U.S. Marines and soldiers trained alongside host-nation and French military forces here Sept. 24 during a live-fire training exercise that included helicopter operations.... This training, held at a range near here, was designed to strengthen relations among three countries, officials said, adding it was the first trilateral firing exercise for service members from Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, French forces in Djibouti and the Djiboutian armed forces."