Camp Lemonnier, the US Navy owned and managed American military base in East Africa, earlier this month hosted a mission and planning conference as it approaches its maximum threshold for water, power, billeting and aircraft parking space.
Forty-five action officers from the Navy Region Europe, Africa and South-west Asia, US Central Command, Special Operations Command, Transportation Command and Africa Command came together to review, validate and consolidate the personnel and aircraft required to support the US and partner nation military operations on Camp Lemonnier. Assessing the camp’s critical capabilities will inform future infrastructure requirements to enhance the ability of Camp Lemonnier to support multiple combatant command requirements.
“Currently, Camp Lemonnier lacks a central mechanism to regulate the flow of personnel and equipment onto camp,” said Navy Captain Daniel Pionk, CJTF-HOA (Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa) logistics director. “Our goal is to validate everyone’s requirements for the next 10 years or so informing the Navy master plan and establishing a gatekeeper process.”
Formalising a gatekeeper process will enable more transparent and informed decisions on future Camp Lemonnier requirements.
“Once we have a clear understanding of what the requirements are for the camp, only then can we programme new projects to expand billeting or other facilities we need, like expanding the galley,” said Navy Captain Rodney Worden, US Africom logistics support and engineering director. “These facilities are needed to help provide common services support at Camp Lemonnier.”
The action officers later divided into three groups to discuss mission requirements, gathering requests for personnel and aircraft metrics. Metrics included the total number of personnel and aircraft on board, during both steady state and surge operations.
“After reviewing the requests on mission support requirements, Africom will take the output from this conference and incorporate it into requirement documents submitted to the Navy who is the owner and operator of the base. In turn, camp operators will use the information to complete the camp’s master plan,” Worden said.
According to him the base master plan looks over a 20-year horizon to determine what facilities and camp capabilities there need to be for the long term. The master plan is updated on an annual basis by the US Navy, the service component responsible for the camp.
“CJTF-HOA is here to enable these types of conferences to happen. It opens a gateway for these COCOMS to come together in one central location to develop strategies to further camp operations,” said Major General Wayne W. Grisby, Jr., CJTF-HOA commander. “This conference allowed the COCOMs to provide better information and in turn build the camp of the future.”