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Partner Appreciation Day Celebrates 21 Years of Partnership at Camp Lemonnier

08 November 2023

From Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Rion Codrington

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (November 8, 2023) U.S. and partner nations across the Horn of Africa came together to celebrate Partner Appreciation Day at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Nov. 8, 2023.
PAD celebrates 21 years of U.S. presence at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti and reaffirms the U.S. commitment to partners and allies across the region.

Camp Lemonnier originally belonged to the French, who used it as a garrison for the French Foreign Legion. The French turned the base over to the Djibouti Armed Forces. Djibouti renovated the base and leased it to the United States in November 2002.

“The United States recognized the strategic importance of Djibouti for security in the Horn of Africa and the broader global interests of peace and stability,” said Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, commanding general of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), a Camp Lemonnier tenant command.
“Djibouti welcomed us after the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, and we are grateful,” she said.
CJTF-HOA – a Marine Corps organization at the time -- arrived off the coast of Djibouti aboard the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), a Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ship.

A Marine Corps Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team (FAST) occupied the base first, making way for an Army engineer unit to come prepare it for long-term operations. In May 2003, CJTF-HOA moved in.

In July 2006, the Marine Corps turned over Camp Lemonnier to the U.S. Navy, which still operates the installation to enable forward operations and foster positive U.S.-allied relationships.

“Camp Lemonnier supports the U.S. military mission in East Africa to conduct theater security cooperation activities, enabling regional partner efforts to maintain regional security and stability,” said Navy Capt. Suzanne Krauss, commanding officer of Camp Lemonnier.

“We continue to work alongside our Djiboutian government partners to maintain regional stability, promote positive economic growth and support humanitarian efforts in Djibouti.”

Camp Lemonnier service members regularly train with the Djiboutian Navy and Coast Guard. Additionally, the Camp Lemonnier hosts a variety of community events, including a biannual bazaar, an Iftar meal during Ramadan and an annual visit to the historic Islamic cemetery on the installation.

“Partnership Appreciation Day is one more way we celebrate and deepen our connection with the community,” Krauss said.
“Over more than two decades, we have proven that we are stronger when we work together. We look forward to many more years of partnership.”

About CJTF-HOA and Camp Lemonnier
Camp Lemonnier is an operational installation that provides world-class support for service members, transient U.S. assets and its 38 tenant commands, including CJTF-HOA.

CJTF-HOA, enabled by Camp Lemonnier, conducts operations in the Horn of Africa to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional stability, dissuade conflict and protect U.S. and partner interests.

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