New U.S. troops to Chad brings to 13 the African countries with U.S. military presence

Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 21 May 2014) adds to Craig Whitlock’s May 21 Washington Post report to conclude that the U.S. military currently has “boots on the ground” in 13 African countries.  Here is an abstracted summary of their reports:


  • Burkina Faso: U.S. base in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, since 2007. The base acts as a hub of a U.S spying network in the region, with spy planes departing form the base to fly over Mali, Mauritania and the Sahara, where they search for fighters from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo: Troops assisting in the search for Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
  • Central African Republic: In April 2013, the United States had circa. 40 troops in Central African Republic assisting the search for the LRA.
  • Chad: On Wednesday, Washington announced that it would be sending 80 troops to Chad to help with the search for Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
  • Djibouti: Major base with circa 4,000 troops in Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, including many aircraft and drones.
  • Ethiopia: Military drone base at Arba Minch since 2011 to fly Reaper drones over East Africa.
  • Kenya: Camp Simba, near the border with Somalia, had around 60 military personnel stationed as of November 2013. The US also is providing Raven drones for Kenya are part of an initial $41.4 million package of military aid that also includes trucks, communications gear and rifles for Burundi, Djibouti and Uganda.
  • Mali: In April 2013, 10 U.S. troops were deployed to Mali to provide “liaison support” to French and African troops. The Pentagon insisted they would not be engaging in combat.
  • Niger: In 2013, U.S. Air Force drone base set up in Niamey, Niger with circa 100 military personnel in the country on an “intelligence collection” mission.
  • Nigeria: At the beginning of May, a small team of U.S. troops and civilian advisers was deployed to Nigeria to join the search for the abducted schoolgirls. According to the AP, these troops joined around 70 military personnel in Nigeria, with 50 regularly assigned to the U.S. Embassy, and 20 Marines there for training.
  • Somalia: In early 2014, the United States deployed fewer than two dozen regular troops to Somalia for training and advising purposes. (This number does not include the CIA and Special Operations personnel there.)
  • South Sudan: In December 2013, the United States deployed 45 military personnel to South Sudan to protect U.S. citizens and property in the country.
  • Uganda: The United States has a base in Entebbe that it uses to fly PC-12 surveillance aircraft in search of Kony’s LRA as well as Raven drones for the Ugandan military. The total number of U.S. troops in Uganda is said to be around 300, and they are officially in the country to “provide information, advice and assistance” to an African Union force searching for LRA.

This count does not include U.S. military and intelligence personnel focused on Africa at the following bases and facilities (source: AFRICOM):

  • additional African countries in which the U.S. has covert CIA and Special Operations personnel
  • military personnel stationed for protection of U.S. embassies or consulates in Africa
    U.S. military personnel, planes, and equipment stationed at AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany (ca. 1,500)
  • AFRICOM units at MacDill Air Force Base (Florida) and RAF Molesworth, (England)
    U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) operating from Vicenza (Italy)
  • a contingent of the 550-Marine rapid reaction force in Sigonella (Italy)
  • U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) headquartered in Naples (Italy)
  • U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa (MARFORAF) in Stuttgart (Germany)U.S. Air Forces Africa (AFAFRICA) bases in Morón AB, Torrejón AB, and Naval Station Rota (Spain), and Italy as part of the AFRICOM support of its operations on the continent
  • additional AFRICOM Security Cooperation and Defense Attaché Offices in approximately 38 nations
  • AFRICOM units at MacDill Air Force Base (Florida) and RAF Molesworth, (England)
    additional AFRICOM liaison officers at key African posts, including the African Union (Ethiopia), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) (Nigeria), and the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (Ghana)
    AFRICOM personnel at the Pentagon in Washington.
  • personnel in the U.S. at many military research, studies, and training institutes conducting research on Africa and training military and intelligence personnel from Africa during their training visits to the U.S.

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