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Monday, October 01, 2007

AFRICOM Opens today in Stuttgart

The command begins with a staff of 120 under Gen. William E. "Kip" Ward and will increase to about 800 over the next year, said Air Force Maj. John Dorrian, a spokesman for U.S. European Command in Stuttgart.

  • It will initially operate from the U.S. Kelley Barracks in Stuttgart, but diplomatic efforts are still under way to find a permanent location in Africa, Dorrian said.
  • U.S. officials say other nations have made private offers.
    Still, the plans have met with sharp resistance from many other African nations, most recently Nigeria
  • Over the next year programs currently overseen by those commands - like joint training exercises and humanitarian operations - will be taken over by Africom, Dorrian said.
  • The U.S. plan foresees a small headquarters, and five regional teams.
  • The Pentagon says is not building new bases.
  • "Plans call for the footprint of U.S. forces to be small," Dorrian said.

Africom is a so-called "unified combatant command" that will be made up of

  • all branches of the military,
  • Defense & State Departments
  • Agriculture
  • Treasury
  • Commerce
  • USAID

The full article from the AP

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