Recently there has been a Change in Command at AFRICOM (United States Africa Command). This change will also lead to a change in which branch of the US Military that will conduct Training with their African Partners.
Since US Army General Stephen J. Townsend assumed command from Marine Corps General Thomas Waldhauser, this change of command has also led to a shift in the training mission as well. It reverts back to the Army from the Marine Corps in certain exercises. This change was revealed last month at the AUSA (Association of the United States Army) event in Washington, D.C.
In recent weeks the Commanding General was in East Africa overseeing the CUTLASS EXPRESS exercise in Djibouti and meeting with leaders and counterparts in both Ethiopia and Somalia. General Townsend also commended Ethiopia for hosting the JUSTIFIED ACCORD exercises in both 2019 and in 2020.
Already the Army Forces Africa plays a major part in the Trans-saharan Counterterrorism Initiative which is highlighted by Operation FLINTLOCK. This exercise is considered to be one of the most important exercises when it pertains to African Security.
The largest Marine Forces Africa exercise is AFRICAN LION which often takes place in Morocco. Marines also provide some training pertaining to Sniper activity as well. By no means should the shift in training be seen as the Marine Corps leaving Africa.
This should not be a major paradigm shift in strategy in Stuttgart or in Washington but rather having available troops to provide the proper training as well.
But there will be talking heads over-analyzing this move…..Then again it wouldn’t be Washington if it didn’t happen.