Horn of Africa task force welcomes new commander

  • Published
  • By Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Sunday Williams
  • Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Public Affairs
Formations of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Airmen, Sailors, Soldiers and Marines provided the backdrop Feb. 14 as Rear Admiral James M. Hart accepted command from Rear Adm. Richard W. Hunt in a ceremony on the flightline of Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.

Admiral Hart addressed his vision for his team and the mission they have to accomplish, as well as the challenges they face.

"As we go through this turnover and transition process, we will change out a third of the headquarters staff over a seven-day period, and making big changes in personnel is always challenging," said the new commander. "Now we have to start the process of coming together and building a new team. This process affords us a great opportunity to leverage the superb work accomplished by our predecessors."
Admiral Hart explained that as a new team, CJTF- HOA will carry out the mission seamlessly by executing the campaign plan. He asked everyone to think about three tenets as they conduct the turnover process: listen, learn and lead.
"If we do this, I believe we can go forward with no loss of momentum to our mission and as one team," said Admiral Hart.
Gen. John Abizaid, United States Central Command commander, complimented the accomplishments of Admiral Hunt and his joint team over the last year.

"The foundation of all that we do centers on the Camp Lemonier team," Admiral Hunt said. 

In addition to thanking the U.S. servicemembers, Admiral Hunt thanked all nations of the coalition, including the host nation countries in the Horn of Africa. 

"All that we do here in HOA occurs only because of the relationships with our host nation countries," said the admiral. "We only move forward at their request and do so in a truly integrated manner. Relations between the CJTF-HOA and countries in the area of responsibility have never been better."
U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti, W. Stuart Symington, who attended the change of command, praised Admiral Hunt for his work. 

"The work of Admiral Hunt and the people under his command reflects remarkable skill as they advance the most important interests of the United States," said Mr. Symington. "During his service here, he ensured that liberty's light burns more brightly today in the hearts and homes of people in Horn of Africa than it did when he arrived." 

Comment on this story (comments may be published on Air Force Link)

Click here to view the comments/letters page