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  • Black Hawk Down 2

    Soldiers to Fight Terrorists on Horn of Africa
    by Cpl. Matthew J. Apprendi
    Army News Service
    May 9, 2003

    CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti -- A 10th Mountain Division company from Fort Drum, N.Y., arrived in Djibouti May 4 to support Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.

    The infantrymen from Company C, 4-31st, joined other soldiers already assembled for CJTF-HOA, including reservists from the 478th Civil Affairs Company (Special Operations) out of Miami, Fla., who arrived in late April.

    The mission of CJTF-HOA is to detect, disrupt and defeat transnational terrorist groups operating in the Horn of Africa region, which is defined as the airspace, land areas and coastal waters of Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Yemen. Additionally, officials said CJTF-HOA will conduct civil-military and humanitarian operations.

    "By building goodwill and trust in the local populace, we feel they (the people in the Horn of Africa) will be more willing and better prepared to help us deal with any terrorist acts," said Maj. Ralph M. Engeler, the company's commander. "Further, they will have more confidence in themselves to deny terrorists the ability to operate in their villages because they know we're here to help them combat terrorism."

    The Civil Affairs company includes medics, engineers, a dentist and a veterinarian. The majority of the group, though, is made up of civil affairs specialists, "who are like the coordinators," explained Spc. Roberto Fernandez.

    Before a project is begun, the civil affairs specialists visit the village leaders in order to discuss what could be done to improve the villages. Then a team of specialized soldiers is sent out to get the projects completed, Fernandez said.

    "Right now, we're in the execution phase of a number of projects," said Engeler. "For instance, we're helping the people of Sud Ambouli install an irrigation system for their gardens."

    Future projects include the refurbishment of clinics and schools.

    This is the third time the infantry company from the 10th Mountain Division has deployed in support of the Global War on Terrorism. The first deployment was to Aberdeen, Md., supporting Operation Noble Eagle as a security detachment. From there, the soldiers deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan where they participated in some of the fiercest fighting during Operation Anaconda.

    "We remain very focused from coming out of Afghanistan and look forward to supporting CJTF-HOA," said Capt. Scott Austin, commanding officer of Company C.

    The company is a light infantry unit capable of performing a variety of missions in support of counter-terrorism operations to include raids and air assaults. The company is equipped with several specialized assets including scout snipers and 81mm mortars.

  • #2
    This article was also posted on the US Army Homepage at as I remember it.