December 4, 2022

Top U.S. Commander in Africa Marine Corps General Michael Langley visits Kenya and Djibouti amid instability in the Horn

Lt. Gen. Michael E. Langley, the head of Marine Forces Command and Marine Forces Northern Command, and commanding general of Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, takes notes while touring the dock landing ship Gunston Hall March 25 prior to its deployment. (Casey Price/Marine Corps)
Lt. Gen. Michael E. Langley, the head of Marine Forces Command and Marine Forces Northern Command, and commanding general of Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, takes notes while touring the dock landing ship Gunston Hall March 25 prior to its deployment. (Casey Price/Marine Corps)

The commander of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Marine Corps General Michael Langley, traveled to Kenya and Djibouti Nov. 22-24. The two-day trip included several stops to meet with host nation military leaders, U.S. Chiefs of Mission, and U.S. service members in the region.

General Langley, who was accompanied by Command Senior Enlisted Advisor, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Richard Thresher, was in the East African nations to strengthen security ties amid instability in the Horn, especially in nearby Ethiopia where a devastating war has left hundreds of thousands of people dead and millions displaced, and Somalia where terrorist attacks left hundreds of people dead and wounded on August 29.

“We are proud to support the Kenya Defense Forces in their role as a regional security leader,” Langley said. “I look forward to continued cooperation and engagements with our partners, and we greatly value them as our partners in countering terrorism in Africa.”

During his visit to Kenya, Langley and U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Margaret “Meg” Whitman visited the Ministry of Defense for meetings with Aden Barre Duale, Kenya Minister of Defense; and Gen. Robert Kibochi, chief of the Kenya Defense Forces, to discuss current support and engagements with the Kenya Defense Forces and look at future cooperative security opportunities. Separately, Thresher met with Elijah Koranga, Kenya Defense Forces Sergeant Major, to discuss noncommissioned officer training and development.

“My old friend, Sgt. Maj. Koranga and I continued our discussions about ways to improve training for the KDF enlisted forces,” Thresher said.  “Sgt. Maj. Koranga has worked hard to refine their educational programs to match enlisted experience with education.  The KDF are a well-trained force, and I applaud their efforts to empower their noncommissioned officer corps. The NCO is the backbone of a strong, effective military force. AFRICOM looks forward to our continued partnership and our ongoing work to help the KDF build an even more professional military force.”

After Nairobi, Langley visited to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, to meet with the commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, and representatives from U.S. Embassy Djibouti, followed by an award ceremony for service members. Langley served and ate Thanksgiving lunch with the troops.

“Our deployed forces continue to support the mission through the holidays, and are positioned and ready to respond if the need arises,” Langley said. “It’s not easy to be far from home during the holidays, so I’m glad to have the opportunity to thank them in person for their service.”

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