Information Clearing House: U.S. military investing heavily in Africa

Military officials declined to elaborate on the role of the special forces, citing security, but their numbers at Camp Lemonnier are likely to grow. Late last year, the first special operations rapid-response team was established at the base, made up of Green Berets from the Army\’s 10th Special Forces Group.When the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, was attacked in September 2012, leaving four Americans dead, lawmakers criticized Pentagon officials for a lack of crisis-response capacity in Africa. But there hasn\’t always been consensus on the role of Camp Lemonnier, which U.S. troops began using in 2002 primarily as a base for civil affairs and humanitarian missions.Now Pentagon planners see the base as the center of a constellation of U.S. military sites across Africa, including small facilities in Manda Bay, Kenya; Entebbe, Uganda; and the West African nation of Burkina Faso.In September, the Pentagon awarded Houston-based Kellogg, Brown & Root a contract for support services at Manda Bay. Navy engineers recently extended the runway there — on a mangrove-covered island near Somalia — to allow it to handle larger aircraft, such as C-130 cargo planes.In July, a Texas company won a $49-million contract to provide air support, including medevacs, cargo flights and air drops, across a vast territory comprising 19 countries, including those where a small team of U.S. advisors is helping in the hunt for Joseph Kony, leader of the Lord\’s Resistance Army militia. The aircraft will be based in Burkina Faso, according to contract documents, which say the flights could run through June 2017.

via U.S. military investing heavily in Africa.


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