WASHINGTON, November 30, 2015 — Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work is on a three-day trip to the Middle East and East Africa that includes stops in Djibouti and Qatar to visit U.S. service members during the Thanksgiving holiday and thank them for their service, Defense Department spokesperson Navy Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson said in a statement released today.
On Nov. 26, the deputy secretary visited Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti and met with military leaders, including Army Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.
During their discussions, Work highlighted the U.S. commitment to fighting terrorism throughout the Horn of Africa and emphasized the importance of continued bilateral and regional cooperation with partner nations in operations to defeat al-Shabab, Hillson said.
Camp Lemonnier is home to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, a U.S. military headquarters that works with partner nations, coalition forces, and interagency and governmental organizations to achieve a unified effort in countering violent extremist groups in East Africa.
Work’s next stop was Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, where he met with U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin and Air Force Brig. Gen. Darren James, the commander of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, Hillson said.
During his two-day visit to the camp, Work spoke with service members, re-enlisted a soldier and visited Centcom forward headquarters and the Combined Air and Space Operations Center. Throughout his visit, Work underscored the strong partnership between the United States and Qatar in the areas of security and defense, she said. Additionally, he expressed appreciation for the support Qatar provides U.S. forces in the country, Hillson said.
At each location, Work met with deployed service members and also conveyed the appreciation of Defense Secretary Ash Carter for their service and that of their families during this critical time, she added.