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Source: CJTF-HOA and CentCom.

by MC1 Mary Popejoy
CJTF-HOA
.

DJIBOUTI, Horn of Africa (Jan. 09, 2008) — Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa personnel took time out of their busy schedules to donate school supplies and clothing to Horsed Private School of English, Jan. 7. The 35 boxes of supplies were sent by Living Waters Foursquare Church in Mooresville, N.C., to Army Staff Sgt. Rex Hipp, 1132nd Engineering Detachment well drilling team. Hipp is a member of the church’s congregation who is currently wrapping up a one-year deployment in Djibouti.

The boxes were filled with backpacks, books, pencils, paper, shoes and clothes. “The 75 church members raised $1,500 so they could buy school supplies and clothing that would benefit the children of Djibouti,” Hipp said. Having his church make such a thoughtful gesture allows the 1132nd well drillers to make one last impact before they return to Mooresville this month.

“For the past year, when we’ve drilled and repaired wells we’ve given out flip flops and school supplies to villages near some of our well sites as another way to help the Djibouti people,” Hipp said. “Now that we’re wrapping up our deployment, it was nice to coordinate with the CJTF-HOA Chaplain’s office and the school director to donate items that will improve the students’ quality of life in a big way,” Hipp said.

Marine Sgt. Derico Cooper, CJ-6 Tactical Networking, was on hand to deliver the supplies and see firsthand just how grateful the school staff was for the gifts. “Their standard of living and educational facilities are far different than what we have in the states, so anything we can do to help them out is greatly appreciated,” Cooper said.

Hassan Mahamed, a teacher at Horsed Private School of English, said he appreciates donations from American friends. “We appreciate everything the U.S. military does for us, because a lot of the families cannot afford to buy these items, which prevents students from having the proper items for school,” Mahamed said. “It’s nice to know that their friends stateside wanted to do something nice for our students here.”

Wayne George, chief religious programs specialist, CJTF-HOA Religious Ministries Department, said donations like these represent the true spirit of America and what it truly means to do something nice for people they’ll never meet. “I have observed thousands of charitable items donated by caring Americans who expect nothing in return,” George said. “They have done it in silence without expectations of recognition because it’s not about the cost, but the smiles it will bring to the faces of the children half a world away.”

Army Staff Sgt. Lisa Dumire, 1133rd Engineering Detachment well drilling team operations non-commissioned officer-in-charge, receives a box from Hassan Mahamed, Horsed Private School of English teacher, while unloading boxes of school supplies that were donated by Living Waters Foursquare Church in Mooresville, N.C. The congregation of Living Waters sent the boxes to Army Staff Sgt. Rex Hipp, 1132nd Engineering Detachment well drilling team, who is a member of their congregation.
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Source: CJTF-HOA (and CentCom).

by U.S. Navy David-Michael Ross
CJTF-HOA.

DJIBOUTI, Horn of Africa (Jan. 11, 2008) — The surgeon cell from Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa met with the Djibouti Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Environment, Jan. 8 to tour the base and surrounding area to see first-hand environmental concerns and address sanitation issues. According to CTJF-HOA’s outgoing force protection officer, Lt. Cmdr. Karen Corson, there are concerns about the waste management measures in place outside of the perimeter of Camp Lemonier, however long-term goals and a commitment to an action plan will eradicate any potential future environmental issues.

“This is an educational exchange of information about the environment, where we get to show them what we in the military do here on base in order to protect the Djiboutian environment while we’re here,” Corson said. “We have an opportunity to take a look at their resources and together examine ways for them to fully utilize them when it comes to their landfills and waste management.”

Ministry representative, Dr. Ammar Abdo Ahmed said that as a result of CJTF-HOA personnel playing an integral role in local humanitarian efforts, he believes this collaborative meeting will also yield many positive results when it comes to working on solutions in the area of sanitation. “This is good that we are working as a team on a medical level, by looking at all of the factors and creating a long term action plan to take care of this problem,” Ahmed said.

CTJF-HOA incoming force protection officer, Navy Lt. Nick Martin, said traditional U.S. waste management solutions do not always translate to all regions in the world. “In the states we have many resources to set up a landfill, for example, you would have incinerators and heavy machinery to roll over the trash and you just don’t have those sorts of things available here,” Martin said. He stressed the importance of continued training and finding improved methods for handling waste.

Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa works to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interests in east Africa and Yemen through humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, consequence management, and civic action programs. This includes medical and veterinary care, school and medical clinic construction and water development projects.

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, Force Protection officers Lt. Nick Martin, left, Lt. Cmdr. Karen Corson and Ministry of Habitat, Urbanism and Environment, Secretary General, Aboubaker Douale Waiss visit the La Douda Waste Facility Jan. 8..

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Source: US CentCom.

25 October 2007
By 1st Lt. David Herndon
Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Public Affairs
.

NAGAD, Djibouti — A culmination of smiles and laughter filled the air as Airmen and Marines provided live entertainment, toys and water to the residents of Nagad village, Oct. 23 [2007].

Nagad was the site of a Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa [CJTF-HOA] civil affairs engagement, teaming Airmen of the United States Central Air Forces’ Expeditionary Band and Marines of the 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion. The event marked the second time in October the two services joined together to provide humanitarian assistance to Djiboutian villages.

“I think it’s great that we can bring some of our culture to our friends here in Djibouti and share goodwill with our neighbors,” said Marine Capt. Christopher Crim, 3rd LAAD Batter B commanding officer. “Regardless of service, we are all on the same team, the American team, and we look to once again spread our goodwill to our friends who are so kind and gracious to host our efforts.”

The CENTAF Band’s mobile expeditionary performance group ‘Live Round,’ currently based out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, performed a blend of current and classic rock ‘n’ roll musical selections to entertain the crowd of nearly 200 villagers, primarily consisting of school-aged children.

“We all speak different languages, but music seems to be something that unifies us all,” said Air Force Master Sgt. Joseph Grasso, CENTAF Band superintendent. “It is important that we reach kids at this age so we can let them know what America is all about and what we hope to accomplish in the region, which is to deter extremism.”

For the Marines, who are deployed to CJTF-HOA from Camp Pendleton, Calif., this type of engagement is an additional mission to their primary duty of providing security to Camp Lemonier.

“Tactically, civil affairs engagements are important to us because they accomplish the important goal of ensuring the local population views our presence as a benefit to them,” said Lt. Col. A.F. Potter, 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion commanding officer. “Civil affairs engagements are not only about economics and security; they are also about friendship-building, mutual trust, and genuine commitment. Targeting these things will create security and foster stability.”

The band spent nearly two hours performing for villagers before 3rd LAAD Marines began passing gifts and water to village elders and children, an experience enjoyed by all.

“Everyone knows that the Americans are very open here in Djibouti,” said Idriss Akmed Khayre, Nagad Village chief. “[CJTF-HOA] military members do so much good for us and we appreciate it. I look forward to working with [CJTF-HOA] again in the future.”

According to Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Paul Eschliman, Live Round’s chief vocalist, the event served as a creative way for Airmen and Marines to work together to prevent conflict and extremism by fostering positive relationships in the local area. “This type of event will pay long-term dividends that most wouldn’t believe,” said Eschliman. “Making friends now will help our relationships grow exponentially in the distant future.”

Civil Affairs engagements, similar to the Nagad concert, serve as opportunities for CJTF-HOA personnel to reduce the specter of conflict, war and extremism in the Horn of Africa. “We know that simply throwing money at a problem will not yield the desired results,” said Potter. “We must be truly genuine in our efforts to make friends and civil affairs is our ounce of prevention.”

CJTF-HOA is a unit of United States Central Command. The organization conducts operations and training to assist partner nations to combat terrorism in order to establish a secure environment and enable regional stability. More than 1,500 people from each branch of the U.S. military, civilian employees, coalition forces and partner nations make up the CJTF-HOA organization. The area of responsibility for CJTF-HOA includes the countries of Comoros, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Yemen.

Photo – Air Force Tech Sgt. Michael Mason, a vocalist with the U.S. Central command Air Force’s expeditionary band, Live Round, sings ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ for villagers in Nagad, Djibouti, Oct. 23. The band is touring Djibouti to perform a series of morale and community outreach concerts. Photo by 1st Lt. David Herndon.

Great job, guys. I’m very proud of you.

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Source: US CentCom.

3 Oct 07
by MC2 Regina L. Brown
Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Public Affairs
.

TADJOURA, Djibouti — After spending eight years in the United States Marine Corps as an adjutant and logistics officer, Capt. Erin Nalepa, a Dearborn, Mich. native, decided she wanted to do something different with her life, so she joined the reserves and started on a nursing degree. She never imagined that an opportunity to get hands-on experience in the medical field would be available to her while on deployment at Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in Djibouti.

Army Lt. Col. Alana Conley offered her the opportunity to help the 350th Civil Affairs Command functional specialty team with a Medical Civic Action Program that was conducted in the villages of Dalay-Af, Alaili Dadda and Obock, located in Djibouti from Sept.15-27, and Nalepa immediately jumped at the chance.

Nalepa already had experience helping others through the time she spent volunteering with the American Red Cross. Some of her volunteer experiences include visiting patients at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C., teaching classes to students at the United States Marine Corps School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, N.C. on the process of Red Cross Emergency Messages and teaching first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation at Orange County ARC in Anaheim, Calif.

Being a staff secretary to CJTF-HOA Chief of Staff, Navy Capt. William Sizemore, Nalepa doesn’t get out of the office much, but Nalepa was able to break from her job and dedicate four days to help with the MEDCAP.

“I hear about all the things that go on here at CJTF-HOA, but I haven’t been able to see anything until now,” said Nalepa. “This is just amazing to see all the logistics and all the planning that happens when we come together out here. Seeing what we’re actually doing for these people is pretty great.”

Nalepa was given the job of fitting patients for adaptive eyewear during the MEDCAP. The strength of the glasses is changed using syringes which adjust the amount of liquid in each lens. The syringes used to make the changes can then be removed. Even though the job required no medical expertise, Nalepa was still able to gain experience helping others.

Throughout her life, Nalepa has admired the bedside manner of not only her family doctors, but her mother as well. Nalepa’s mother, Janet, is an X-ray and mammography technician at the Oakwood Hospital & Medical Center in Dearborn.

“I think of the way the doctors made me feel better and comforted me when I was sick and I want to be able to do that for others,” said Nalepa.

The MEDCAP gave her the perfect opportunity to get hands on experience with helping people and to do her part to support the mission of CJTF-HOA, which is to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interests in east Africa and Yemen through humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, consequence management, and civic action programs to include medical and veterinary care, school and medical clinic construction, and water development projects.

“This MEDCAP has really given me a much better perspective of what we do at CJTF-HOA, as well as giving me a chance to do work in the medical field,” said Nalepa. “After participating, I feel even stronger about becoming a nurse.”

Nalepa is currently completing pre-requisites and will apply to a nursing program as soon as she returns from deployment in mid-October.

Photo – Marine Corps Capt. Erin Nalepa fits a patient for a pair of adaptive eyewear prescription glasses during a Medical Civic Action Program held in the village of Alaili Dadda in Djibouti. Service members deployed to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa offered medical care to remote villages throughout Djibouti from Sep. 15-27 during the MEDCAP. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Regina L. Brown.

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Source: US CentCom.

24 Sept 07
By Air Force Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs
.

NAGAD, Djibouti – Marines assigned to 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion and Heavy Marine Helicopter 464 out of Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, participated in a community relations project by painting a schoolhouse in Nagad Sept. 20. Reaching out to villages is a supplemental mission for the 3rd LAAD, the security force of Camp Lemonier.

“Our purpose here is to build relationships in the area as well as maintain and enhance security of the base,” said Marine Capt. Christopher F. Crim, 3rd LAAD Battery B commanding officer. “Marines have a long history of working with locals to accomplish the mission. We will help the local villages help themselves, provide security for the base and assist the Djiboutian police and military to maintain stability in the local area.”

Daoud Zeid Hassan, Arta School Region supervisor, stopped by the schoolhouse while the Marines were there. Hassan supervises seven primary schools and one secondary school.

“There is a strong friendship with the Marines,” said Hassan. “They help us a great deal with the schools. We feel they help where we can’t finish.”

The Marines visit the schools frequently to see what assistance they can provide, whether it’s painting walls or building additions.

“It’s great to be able to conduct goodwill missions, like painting the Nagad School, and to build friendships with the villagers and leaders in the local area,” Crim said.

The Marines of 3rd LAAD replaced the 6th Provisional Security Company Sept. 16 and are working to see what assistance the villages require.

“We are currently in the process of identifying the needs of the villages near Camp Lemonier,” said Crim. “Then we will make an assessment in coordination with other agencies on the camp to develop a plan of action.”

The efforts of the Marines are also appreciated by those who benefit most directly.

“Americans are very good,” said Daoud Omar Gousieh, a Nagad native. “They have been here for seven years, and they always give.”

The mission of more than 250 Marines assigned to 3rd LAAD is to provide perimeter and external security for Camp Lemonier in support of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa mission to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interest in order to prevail against extremism.

Photo – Marine Gunnery Sgt. Rongalett D. Green and Marine Cpl. Vincent C. Girardi help a Nagad child paint the schoolhouse for 150 children. Green is the administrative chief and coordinator for the Horn of Africa Marine Corps Coordination Element. Green is deployed from Quantico, Va., and her father lives in Sacramento, Calif. Girardi is a guard for the 3rd Low Altitude Air Defense Battalion. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente.

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Source: US CentCom.

20 Sept 07
by Air Force Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente
.

ASSAMO, Djibouti – National Guardsmen assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa were visited by the senior enlisted leader for the National Guard Bureau for three days.

Army Command Sgt. Maj. David R. Hudson, NGB senior enlisted leader, traveled to Djibouti Sept. 12-15 to learn about the HOA mission, visit well drilling sites and check on the morale of the Guardsmen.

“As a person who testifies before Congress, I wanted to come and see how they were doing and if they were in need of any supplies or equipment,” said Hudson.

While the sergeant major has visited several camps in theatre, this was his first time to Africa.

“It was a neat opportunity to come and see what kind of impact Guardsmen are making,” he said. “A lot of people don’t know about Djibouti, where it is or what we are doing here.”

Hudson met with the 1132nd Well Drilling Detachment of the North Carolina Army National Guard Sept. 15, and traveled to Assamo to view three of the five wells the servicemembers completed.

“Well drilling is an important contribution here because it helps prevent illness,” said Army Staff Sgt. William R. Brown, 1132nd Well Drilling Detachment lead driller and acting first sergeant.

The difference between the hand-dug wells the Djiboutians use and the wells the Guardsmen install is that the well drillers encase them, which makes them sanitary and keeps bacteria from getting into the water.

The well drillers test the water each time they return to the site using a hydrologist water test kit. While there is no regulation or other requirement for this process, the Guardsmen go an extra step further to make sure the process is still intact.

“We do it as a courtesy, because we care about what we’ve done,” said Brown. “We want to make sure we have left a positive impression on the people.”

The NGB senior enlisted leader felt the trip was educational, and he enjoyed meeting members of the HOA mission.

“I personally learned a lot,” said Hudson. “I didn’t know about the well drillers and what they bring to the HOA mission. The men and women of the National Guard are hard workers. The well drilling unit is doing a wonderful job.”

The command sergeant major also appreciated the assistance of the CJTF-HOA commander and command chief.

“Rear Adm. James M. Hart and Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John R. Harris were great hosts during my time in HOA,” he said. “They have their own duties, and they put them aside to help me in making sure I could see as much as I could in a short amount of time.”

Army Sgt. Phillip W. Lawing, 1132nd Well Drilling Detachment lead well driller and mechanic, enjoyed the senior enlisted leader’s visit.

“Someone from that position who takes an earnest interest in what we are doing is nice,” said Lawing. “Knowing someone came from Washington, D.C., means they’re aware that we’re here and that’s pretty special.”

At any given time, there can be 70,000 to 90,000 Guardsmen deployed to 44 countries around the world. About 200 are in the Horn of Africa.

The well drillers are part of the CJTF-HOA mission, serving with more than 1,800 coalition and U.S. servicemembers who are part of the operational effort to prevent conflict, promote regional stability, and protect coalition interest in order to prevail against extremism.

Photo – Sgt. William R. Brown, left, uses a hydrologist water test kit as Army Sgt. 1st Class Danny D. Hunter records the various levels from a well drilled for local Djiboutians. The Guardsmen are not required by any rules or regulations to measure the pH levels, hardness, salinity, and other traits of well water, but do so as a courtesy check to ensure that the well is intact and because they care about what they’ve done. Brown and Hunter are members of the 1132nd Well Drilling Detachment deployed from Mooresville, N.C., Army National Guard. Brown is lead driller and acting first sergeant and Hunter, is team leader commander. U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente.

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Source: CentCom.

Many people are unaware of the major work we have been doing in the Horn of Africa known as the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). This is a part of WWIV that fascinates me. Our men and women are doing such a good job and many good works, and it all goes mostly unnoticed.

I might add this is while America and the HOA is fighting the ships and pirates from al Qaida by capturing there ships which have been kidnapping people, enslaving and murdering them, and stealing whatever they please. Now on to the article from CentCom.

2 Oct 07
By Maj. Wesley P. Miller IV
Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa Public Affairs
.

SANA’A, Yemen — Dozens of children rushed through the doors of Socotra’s newly built Usama Bin Zaid Primary School, eager to see their new learning environment.

The project dedication ceremony held for the people of Socotra, Sept. 23, was the result of a combined effort of the U.S. military, U.S. State Department, United States Agency for International Development, the Government of Yemen and the Hadibo local council.

U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Stephen A. Seche, Rear Adm. James Hart, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa commander, as well as numerous other U.S. and Yemen government leaders attended the ceremony.

“There’s a significance and [a] value in education – a degree of excellence – one which the youth of Socotra are deserving. It has been stated that every person has a right to an integral education, an education which responds to all of the needs of the human person. We hope that these refurbishments will make this process a little easier,” said Hart.

The project dedication is an event Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa holds when they complete a civil-military project. The dedication symbolizes turning over the completed project to the local community. The U.S. military delegation traveled to the island to dedicate the Usama Bin Zaid primary school to more than 2,000 residents.

The Dayshes school, built by a local contractor Faiz Abdullah Salem and funded by the U.S. government, will become a learning center for more than 250 children, ages 6-14. Before erecting the school, there were limited structures to house the children and many had to attend class in grass huts.

With a U.S. and Yemen flag flying atop the school, Seche and Hart officially dedicated the school to the village of Dayshes. The $40,000 invested by the U.S. government in building and outfitting the Usama Bin Zaid school are part of a total U.S. government assistance program in Socotra, Yemen totaling more than $1,900,000 in projects for 2007.

Hart said that refurbishing the Usama Bin Zaid school began with CJTF-HOA’s assigned Civil Affairs team joining forces with local elders and contractors to repair the school.

Other projects completed or ongoing on Socotra include: the Omar Bin Kattab school, a health clinic for women and children in the Qalansiyah district and nearly 20 water storage tanks completed or nearing completion throughout the island. Civil Affairs Teams are working to fund 374 more water storage tanks to help provide potable water throughout Socotra.

Through building schools, water storage tanks, health centers and conducting numerous other Civil-Military Operations, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa is building capacity throughout the Horn of Africa to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interests in order to prevail against extremism.

“It is my hope that all the people of Yemen continue to feel the benefits from the strong and growing U.S. – Yemen friendship. Geographically, Socotra may be far from Sana’a and the Embassy, but cooperative projects like this school will continue to draw us closer together,” said Seche.

One thing that was not mention but is clearly evident to me is the fact that along with this clean water, we are also educating these people on health issues from dirty water. Yes, great job, guys!

Photo – U.S. Navy Rear Adm. James Hart, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa commander (center), presents a dedication plaque to Faiz Abdullah Salem at the Usama Bin Zaid Primary School in Socotra, Yemen, Sept. 23, 2007. Salem is a local contractor who helped in the construction of the newly erected school by teaming with United States Agency for International Development and CJTF-HOA personnel. U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Stephanie Addison.

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