Loading... A U.S. rapid response team was deployed to a military base in Manda Bay, Kenya, following an attack by the Somalia-based terrorist group Al-Shabaab on Sunday morning. The team, the East Africa Response Force (EARF), is to secure the...Jan 6th 2020 · 1 min read
A U.S. rapid response team was deployed to a military base in Manda Bay, Kenya, following an attack by the Somalia-based terrorist group Al-Shabaab on Sunday morning.
The team, the East Africa Response Force (EARF), is to secure the base at the base, AFRICOM said in its statement on Monday. Army Maj. Gen. William Gayler, AFRICOM’s chief of operations, said the EARF enables commanders to quickly respond to a number of crises in the region, including US citizens’ protection, disaster relief and humanitarian aid.
“The EARF’s ability to respond to events that span a wide range of responsibilities provides proven and invaluable on-demand reinforcement in times of need,” Gayler said in a statement.
Al-Shabaab’s attack on Sunday claimed the life of an American soldier, Spc. Henry “Mitch” Mayfield Jr. and two US Department of Defense contractors whose names are not yet known. At the time of the attack, fewer than 150 U.S. soldiers were at the base, an AFRICOM spokesman told Reuters on Sunday.
According to AFRICOM, Al-Shabaab killed more than 80 civilians in Mogadishu, Somalia on December 28. The command said it had not suspected that the Sunday attack was related to Iranian retaliation for the murder of Colonel General Qassem Suleimani in an air raid in the United States. AFRICOM said, however, that it had “observed that other nations, including Iran, are seeking increased influence in the Horn of Africa.”
It is not the first time that EARF has responded to a crisis. Last year, the EARF deployed to Libreville, Gabon to support potential unrest in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Its mission was to secure US citizens, personnel, and diplomatic institutions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the army said.
“Basically, our company is the primary intervention force for the majority of the African continent,” said Captain Connor McCarthy, commander of the Bravo Company, the 101st Airborne Division of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the Infantry Battalion. “Even if it’s not always the best situation, our company is always ready to help when we get the call.”