Combined Joint Task Force

Combined Joint Task Force
Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa
CJTF-HOA insignia.jpg
Active October 19, 2002–present
Country United States
Allegiance United States
Branch 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, Djibouti
Rear Admiral Michael T. Franken

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 as part of the United States response to the September 11, 2001 attacks. The mission of 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. Currently, CJTF-HOA has been assigned a Combined Joint Operating Area (CJOA) that consists of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, Seychelles, Somalia, and Sudan. In addition, the task force has an assigned Area of Interest (AOI) that consists of Burundi, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and Yemen.

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.

The CJTF-HOA command vision is to use a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach (which includes coordination and input from the U.S. State Department and USAID) in order to increase trust and confidence among the people of East Africa in their own governments and institutions. That strategy is designed to empower partner nations to create and maintain a stable, secure environment where education and prosperity can take hold and where violent extremist ideology is rejected.



  • February 14, 2007 to February 3, 2008 -- United States Navy Rear Admiral James M. Hart[5]
  • February 8, 2008, to February 5, 2009, -- United States Navy Rear Admiral Philip H. Greene, Jr.[5]
  • February 5, 2009, to March 27 2010, -- United States Navy Rear Admiral Anthony M. Kurta[6][7]
  • March 27, 2010, to May 19, 2011 -- United States Navy Rear Admiral Brian L. Losey
  • May 11, 2011, to present -- United States Navy Rear Admiral Michael T. Franken


Ethiopian Pvt. Abebaw Damte fires a PSL sniper rifle at a shooting range outside Camp Ramrod, Ethiopia

CJTF-HOA was established at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on October 19, 2002. In November 2002, personnel embarked on a 28-day transit to the region aboard USS Mount Whitney (LCC-20), and arrived in the Horn of Africa on December 8, 2002. CJTF-HOA operated from the Mount Whitney until May 13, 2003, when the mission transitioned ashore to Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti City, Djibouti. Since then, CJTF-HOA personnel have built numerous schools, clinics and hospitals; conducted dozens of MEDCAPs, DENTCAPs and VETCAPs; drilled and refurbished more than 113 water wells; and trained in collaboration with most 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.[8]

Additionally, members of the Task Force have assisted with at least 11 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

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



External links

Point of Contact: CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office, PSC 831, FPO AE 09363; DSN (318) 824-2342; Commercial (+253) 359-523 E-mail:

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