Eastern Africa Standby Force, U.S. forge new partnership


Delegates from the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) visited Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, recently to learn best practices from directorates within Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and build relationships between the two organizations. The EASF and CJTF-HOA plan to work together to coordinate timely disaster relief, security and peacetime operations.

The EASF is one of five African standby forces, comprised of multinational and multidisciplinary civilian, police and military components. The components are held on standby in their countries of origin to respond to emerging crises and provide peace enforcement and stability operations.

Ambassador Issimail Chanfi, EASF director, and Benediste Hoareau, EASF head of political affairs, visited Camp Lemonnier to understand CJTF-HOA’s mission and cement the newly formed partnership.

The visit was a first for Chanfi, who met members of CJTF-HOA’s planning, operations, logistic and communication directorates. The U.S. members conveyed basic processes and provided EASF with information to help the standby force apply what they learned to their own evolving organization.
“We ask that you impart your knowledge so we can move forward in our partnership,” said Chanfi. “We want the EASF to advance forward, and with this knowledge and the help of CJTF-HOA, we can.”

Brig. Gen. William West, CJTF-HOA deputy commander, explained the tenants of CJTF-HOA’s mission are to enable East African partners to counter violent extremists, ensure regional access, and provide support to crisis response.

CJTF-HOA and EASF have common interests in regional security, and this new partnership may contribute to stability in East Africa.
“We are moving to join you to make the region and continent safer,” said Chanfi. “We came to get some guidance for the EASF and now have a firm belief we will be supported in this by the U.S.”

One goal of CJTF-HOA’s mission is to bolster regional security organizations, such as the EASF, so they are capable of conducting crisis response and contingency operations in East Africa.
“The EASF’s visit to Camp Lemonnier is one of many steps CJTF-HOA and the EASF are taking to build a long lasting relationship between the two organizations,” said West. “The relationships we’re forming now will go a long way toward promoting regional stability and prosperity. CJTF-HOA is committed to supporting EASF as they develop into the premier response force on the continent.”