U.S. AFRICOM (Africa Command) reported that it had carried out 679 activities (missions, programs, and exercises) in 2014. This includes training, advising, intelligence gathering (via UAV, manned aircraft or people on the ground), logistical or technical assistance and so on. That was 23 percent more than in 2013 and four times as many as 2008 the first year AFRICOM was in charge of all American military activities in Africa.
The number of activities (many of them classified SOCOM missions) is expected to be more than 20 percent higher in 2015. AFRICOM is in greater demand throughout Africa because of the growing threat of Islamic terrorism and the greater participation of African troops in peacekeeping operations (mainly within Africa.)
American troops have long trained foreign troops in peacekeeping techniques and has a reputation for doing it well. Another increasingly popular AFRICOM activity is aerial surveillance, using manned aircraft, UAVs and satellites.
AFRICOM also provides help with logistics and planning military and security operations. The armed forces in most African nations needs help in these areas and finds that the American aid works and is usually free. Such a deal.
AFRICOM headquarters is in Germany, where 1,500 personnel command and coordinate a much larger force of American troops and civilians operating in dozens of African countries. AFRICOM has been unable to establish its headquarters anywhere in Africa and has been in a temporary headquarters in Germany until someplace in Africa was found.
Failing that, the plan was to move the headquarters back to the U.S. But AFRICOM commanders pointed out that Germany was closer to African hotspots than the United States and, more importantly, closer to European nations that are also involved in African peacekeeping and counter-terror operations. Germany is also in the same time zone as most of Africa.
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