Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa

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Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa
CJTF-HOA insignia.jpg
Active October 19, 2002–present
Country  United States of America
Type Multiservice (joint) formation
Role Military operations and civil and military capacity building
Size 2,000[1]
Part of United States Africa Command[2]
Garrison/HQ Camp Lemonnier, Republic of Djibouti
U.S. Army Major General Mark R. Stammer [3]

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.


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 servicemen and women[1] 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); security training for border and coastal areas; and counter-IED (C-IED) integration training. 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).


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.[2]



  1. 1.0 1.1 "Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 12 September 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Africans Fear Hidden U.S. Agenda in New Approach to Africom". Associated Press. 2008-09-30. Retrieved 2008-09-30.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 Reif, Jasmine (14 January 2014). "CJTF-HOA welcomes incoming commanding general". Retrieved 7 February 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "CJTF-HOA Factsheet". Retrieved 2012-01-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "USS Mount Whitney Set for Norfolk Return". Retrieved 2012-12-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "United States Marine Corp Biography: Major General Timothy F. Ghormley". United States Marine Corps. 2007-11-14. Archived from the original on February 14, 2006. Retrieved 2007-11-14.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "United States Navy Biography: Rear Admiral Richard W. Hunt". United States Navy. 2006-06-28. Retrieved 2007-02-06.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 "United States Navy Biography: Rear Admiral James M. Hart". United States Navy. 2007-02-21. Retrieved 2007-03-28.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "BIO-REAR-ADMIRAL-JAMES-M-HART" defined multiple times with different content
  9. "United States Navy Biography: Rear Admiral Anthony M. Kurta". United States Navy. 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2009-02-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "CJTF-HOA Under New Command". CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office. 2009-02-05. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved 2010-05-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Baldor, Lolita C. (2013). "Officials: Army general removed over alcohol, sex-related charges". U.S. News on Associated Press. Retrieved April 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Chris Tomlinson, 'U.S. wages quiet battle in Africa,' Associated Press, in The Washington Times, January 15, 2004

External links