As US forces continue to draw down in Afghanistan, the Air Force’s presence in Africa could be increasing, reported Stars and Stripes. “Our presence here [at Camp Lemmonier] Djibouti is enduring and I think it is growing,” Col. Kelly Passmore, 449th Air Expeditionary Group commander at Camp Lemonnier, told the paper. “As DOD has capacity that is freed up from our transition out of Afghanistan, it gives us forces that are able to now focus on this region.” Much of the mission of US military presence in Djibouti and throughout East Africa centers around readiness: positioning to fight “violent extremist organizations,” and conducting crisis response and personnel recovery missions throughout the region. The region also is key for intelligence gathering. “Obviously there is [intelligence, reconnaissance, and surveillance] capacity here,” Passmore said in the article. “The location … is key for multiple combatant commands. From here you can reach Central Command’s and Africa Command’s areas of concern.”
President Joe Biden has nominated Maj. Gen. Leah G. Lauderback to pin on a third star and become Air Force deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and cyber effects operations. He also nominated 24 brigadier generals to two-star rank in their current positions.