U.S. Africa Command’s East Africa Response Force (EARF) arrived at Manda Bay, Kenya, on 5 January, to augment security to secure the airfield after an attack by Al-Shabaab terrorists. Al-Shabaab, a U.S. Government designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation, attacked the Kenya Defense Force Military Base in Manda Bay, Kenya, early Sunday morning.
“The EARF provides a critical combat-ready, rapid deployment force,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, director of operations, U.S. Africa Command.
“The EARF’s ability to respond to events spanning a vast area of responsibility provides a proven and invaluable on-call reinforcement capability in times of need.”
The EARF, under the command and control of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, responds to a broad range of military operations including the protection of U.S. citizens and diplomatic facilities, support for non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief operations, and other missions as directed.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and was also responsible for the December 28 attack against innocent civilians in Mogadishu, Somalia, claiming more than 80 lives.
Contrary to various open source reports, U.S. Africa Command does not assess yesterday’s attack by Al-Shabaab is linked to Iran. While Iranian involvement is not suspected in the attack, U.S. Africa Command has observed other nations, including Iran, seek increased influence in the Horn of Africa.
U.S. Africa Command’s desired end state in East Africa is one in which terrorist organisations are not able to threaten the U.S. homeland, U.S. persons, international allies, or destabilise the region.