Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III paid a special visit to service members deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, during his first trip to Africa Sept. 24-25, 2023.
The Secretary addressed a small formation composed of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines from various units reflecting the joint mission operating out of Camp Lemonnier.
“This command and this installation is the epitome of jointness. The work you do here with our Djiboutian partners and our other allies here is important,” Austin said. “I also know that because you’re here you’re away from home missing family, missing birthdays and anniversaries. So when you talk to your family tell them Lloyd Austin said ‘thank you’ not just for your service as the military members, but for their service as well.”
Before departing, Austin personally recognized several enlisted members for their superior performance while deployed. Among them was U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Craishod Norris, a Foreign Liaison Officer assigned to CJTF-HOA.
“It was an honor to meet Secretary Austin and the feeling of having someone at such an esteemed position in our chain of command take the time to congratulate service members like myself is indescribable.” said Norris. “I’m thankful to be recognized during such a special occasion, but our mission here at Camp Lemonnier is a team effort.”
Secretary Austin’s stop in Djibouti exemplifies the strategic importance of the U.S.-Djibouti partnership and is home to Camp Lemonnier, a critical military installation that serves as a linchpin in counterterrorism efforts and regional stability.
During his visit, Austin met with the President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh and the Minister of Defense Hassan Omar Mohamed Bourhan to discuss the security partnership between the two nations and shared priorities in the region. He also met with Somali President Hassan Mohamud and discussed the shared effort to counter al-Shabaab in the region.
From here Austin will continue his travels through the African continent later this week by traveling to Kenya and Angola to showcase the department’s appreciation for our African partners.
|Date Posted:||09.26.2023 02:12|
|Location:||CAMP LEMONNIER, DJ|
|Hometown:||CHARLESTON, SC, US|
|Hometown:||COLUMBIA, SC, US|