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Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa


Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa
Active October 19, 2002–present
Country  United States of America
Type Multiservice (joint) formation
Role Military operations and civil and military capacity building
Size Task force
Part of United States Africa Command[1]
Garrison/HQ Camp Lemonnier, Republic of Djibouti
U.S. Army Brigadier General Wayne Grigsby Jr [2]

Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) is a joint task force of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM). It originated under Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa (OEF-HOA) as part of the United States response to the September 11, 2001 attacks.


  • Overview 1
  • Commanders 2
  • History 3
    • Transfer to USAFRICOM 3.1
    • Operations 3.2
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Live-fire exercise for marksmanship and weapons handling in March 2003, part of the CJTF-HOA.

The mission of the CJTF-HOA is to conduct operations in the Combined Joint Operations Area to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional security and stability, dissuade conflict, and protect U.S. and coalition interests.

CJTF-HOA consists of about 2,000 service men and women[3] from the United States military and allied countries. Currently, the task force has an assigned area of interest that includes Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Seychelles and Kenya. Outside this Combined Joint Operating Area, the CJTF-HOA has operations in Mauritius, Comoros, Liberia, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania.[4]

CJTF-HOA operations are encompassed by what the U.S. military has termed the ‘indirect approach’ with a focus on military-to-military engagements, civil-military operations, key leader engagements, and providing enabling support to partner nations. They provide short-term assistance by drilling wells for clean water, building functional schools, improving roadways and improving medical facilities. Long-term goals include working with partner nations to improve national and regional stability and security. Regional stability is increased through capacity-building operations such as civil affairs and military-to-military training; engineering and humanitarian support; medical, dental, and veterinarian civic action programs (MEDCAP, DENTCAP, VETCAP); and security training for border and coastal areas. About 1,800 personnel from each branch of the U.S. military, civilian employees, and representatives from coalition and partner nations make up CJTF-HOA.


Maj. Gen. Terry Ferrell, Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, and Gen. Dahir Adan Elmi, Chief of Defense for the Somali Armed Forces, walk together into the galley at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (May 2013).
  • November 2002 to August 2003 – United States Marine Corps Major General John F. Sattler[5] (task force headquarters, initially aboard Mount Whitney, was composed of element of headquarters 2nd Marine Division and II MEF.)[6]
  • May 17, 2005 to April 12, 2006 – United States Marine Corps Major General Timothy F. Ghormley[7]
  • April 12, 2006 to February 14, 2007 – United States Navy Rear Admiral Richard W. Hunt[8] (at least some headquarters elements drawn from Commander, Carrier Strike Group 6)
  • February 14, 2007 to February 3, 2008 – United States Navy Rear Admiral James M. Hart[9]
  • February 8, 2008 to February 5, 2009 – United States Navy Rear Admiral Philip H. Greene, Jr.[9]
  • February 5, 2009 to March 27, 2010 – United States Navy Rear Admiral Anthony M. Kurta[10][11]
  • March 27, 2010 to May 19, 2011 – United States Navy Rear Admiral Brian L. Losey
  • May 11, 2011 to May 26, 2012 – United States Navy Rear Admiral Michael T. Franken
  • May 26, 2012 to March 28, 2013 – United States Army Major General Ralph O. Baker[12]
  • March 2013 to January 2014 - United States Army Major General Terry Ferrell [13]
  • January 14 - Present - United States Army Major General Wayne Grigsby, Junior[2]


Ethiopian soldiers practice ambush techniques during CJTF-HOA training in December 2006.

CJTF-HOA was established at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on October 19, 2002. In November 2002, personnel embarked to the region aboard USS Mount Whitney and arrived at the Horn of Africa on December 8, 2002. CJTF-HOA operated from the Mount Whitney until May 13, 2003, when the mission moved ashore to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti City, Djibouti. Since then, CJTF-HOA personnel have built schools, clinics and hospitals; conducted dozens of MEDCAPs, DENTCAPs and VETCAPs; drilled and refurbished more than 113 water wells; and trained in collaboration with partner nation militaries.

In January 2004, Brigadier General Mastin Robison of the United States Marine Corps, then commanding the Task Force, had support, medical, and admin staff from the Marines, Navy, Army, and Air Force, a Marine helicopter detachment of four CH-53 Super Stallions, a U.S. Army infantry company, a U.S. Army Reserve civil affairs company, Navy cargo planes, military engineers, and a special operations unit under his command.[14]

Additionally, members of the Task Force assisted with humanitarian assistance missions, including recovery efforts after the collapse of a four-story building in Kenya in 2006, the capsizing of a passenger ferry in Djibouti in 2006, and floods in Ethiopia and Kenya in 2006. Task Force personnel assisted the Government of Uganda in locating and recovering the wreckage of a Russian-built IL-76 transport plane that crashed into Lake Victoria in early 2009.

Transfer to USAFRICOM

Djiboutian Army Major Ahmed Said Guedi presents a letter of appreciation to CJTF-HOA and USAFRICOM Command Sergeant Major Scott Mykoo in September 2011.

On October 1, 2008, responsibility for the task force was transferred from the United States Central Command to the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM), as the latter assumed authority over the African Theater of Operations.[1]



  1. ^ a b "Africans Fear Hidden U.S. Agenda in New Approach to Africom". Associated Press. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2008-09-30. 
  2. ^ a b Reif, Jasmine (14 January 2014). "CJTF-HOA welcomes incoming commanding general". Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa". Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "CJTF-HOA Factsheet". Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  5. ^ "Guelleh Visits CJTF-HOA Commander".  
  6. ^ "USS Mount Whitney Set for Norfolk Return". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  7. ^ "United States Marine Corp Biography: Major General Timothy F. Ghormley".  
  8. ^ "United States Navy Biography: Rear Admiral Richard W. Hunt".  
  9. ^ a b "United States Navy Biography: Rear Admiral James M. Hart".  
  10. ^ "United States Navy Biography: Rear Admiral Anthony M. Kurta".  
  11. ^ "CJTF-HOA Under New Command". CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office. 2009-02-05. Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  12. ^ Baldor, Lolita C. (2013). "Officials: Army general removed over alcohol, sex-related charges". U.S. News on Associated Press. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Chris Tomlinson, 'U.S. wages quiet battle in Africa,' Associated Press, in The Washington Times, January 15, 2004

External links

  • CJTF-HOA Official Site
  • Global Security
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