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United States Army Africa


United States Army Africa

United States Army Africa
United States Army Africa shoulder sleeve insignia.
Active Established: December 9, 2008
Country United States
Motto A Team Like No Other
Commander, U.S. Army Africa Major General Darryl A. Williams[1]
Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Africa Brigadier General Peter L. Corey; Brigadier General Kenneth H. Moore, Jr.[2]
Chief of Staff Colonel Pedro G. Almeida
Command Sergeant Major Command Sergeant Major Jeffery T. Stitzel
Distinctive unit insignia (Right Side)

United States Army Africa (USARAF), also known as the Southern European Task Force (SETAF), is the United States Army Service Component Command of United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM).[3][4][5]

USARAF's headquarters are located on Caserma Ederle, Vicenza, Italy. The current commanding general of USARAF is Major General (MG) Darryl A. Williams.[6]

SETAF, now known as USARAF/SETAF has been stationed in Italy since 1955 and has a long history of operating on the African continent and partnering with African nations. During the past 15 years, SETAF has provided crisis response, disaster relief and humanitarian assistance on the continent.

On December 3, 2008 in Rome, Italy, an official announcement by the U.S. and Italian governments stated that SETAF would become USARAF, and one week later on December 9, 2008 USARAF was established as the Army Service Component Command of AFRICOM. According to the Army Times, this marked the end of the airborne chapter of the unit’s history and the beginning of its new role as the Army component of AFRICOM.

The command's mission statement explains that USARAF/SETAF protects and defends the national security interests of the United States, strengthens African land forces and regional organizations, supports AFRICOM, and conducts military operations in order to deter and defeat violent extremist organizations and create a secure environment in Africa.[13]


  • U.S. Army Africa Focus and Roles 1
  • USARAF/SETAF goals 2
  • USARAF Types of Activities – Present 3
    • DoD Security Cooperation 3.1
    • Army Security Cooperation 3.2
    • ACOTA: African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance 3.3
    • ADAPT: Africa Deployment Assistance Partnership Training 3.4
    • Train and Equip 3.5
    • TCT: Traveling Contact Team 3.6
    • FAM: Familiarization 3.7
    • Exercises 3.8
    • MEDRETE: Medical Readiness Training Exercises 3.9
    • Security Sector Reform 3.10
    • HMA: Humanitarian Mine Action Program 3.11
    • ALFS: African Land Forces Summit 3.12
    • Security Force Assistance 3.13
    • SPP: State Partnership Program 3.14
    • CULP: Culture and Language Program 3.15
  • History 4
    • 2008 – present 4.1
    • 2000–2008 4.2
    • 1990–2000 4.3
    • 1955–1990 4.4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

U.S. Army Africa Focus and Roles

As the current USARAF commander, MG Darryl A. Williams, will ensure that U.S. Army capabilities are available and prepared to protect U.S. interests, support the achievement of AFRICOM goals, and enable our African partners to provide a secure environment.

To achieve this, USARAF will maintain the core of a deployable Joint Task Force headquarters that can operate as a CJTF or as part of a larger coalition. USARAF, when directed, will serve as a Joint Force Land Component Command, a Joint Forces Command or an Army Forces Command. Strengthening the land force capabilities of African States and regional organizations is a USARAF task, as is conduct military operations to deter or defeat transnational threats. USARAF provides Army support to joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational elements, as well as providing Title 10 support to U.S. Army forces in the Africa area of responsibility. (Title 10 support provides the legal basis for the roles, missions and organization of each of the services as well as the United States Department of Defense). To ensure that the intent of command is met, USARAF performs additional support functions directed in AFRICOM plans and Army Executive Agent agreements. Lastly, it is important for USARAF to develop and synchronize their activities in order to support the AFRICOM security cooperation, operations, and exercises.

Ultimately, when these items mentioned are met, American interests are protected and African land forces are able to address African security challenges.


There are six principles that guide USARAF through the ongoing missions on the continent of Africa. They are, 1) protect U.S. national interests, 2) build strong relationships, 3) promote professionalism, 4) make a difference, 5) leverage partnerships, and 6) build partner capacity.

USARAF Types of Activities – Present

DoD Security Cooperation

Means by which the DoD encourages and enables countries and organizations to work with the U.S. to achieve strategic objectives.

Army Security Cooperation

Consists of official, cooperative and generally non-combat interactions between Army elements, active duty, or U.S. National Guard and Reserve components. This includes U.S. government or non-government entities that support the Army and governments, industries, institutions, or people of other nations or official or non-governmental international organizations.

ACOTA: African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance

Department of State managed program that trains 20-30 battalions of peacekeepers throughout Africa annually. ACOTA trains and equips contingents from selected African militaries with enhanced capacity to respond quickly and effectively to peace support and humanitarian relief situations on the continent. ACOTA is a part of Global Peace Operations Initiative (GPOI).

ADAPT: Africa Deployment Assistance Partnership Training

ADAPT is a Theater Logistics Engagement activity that helps build deployment capacity for African partners who conduct peacekeeping, counter-terrorism, or humanitarian relief operations in Africa. Funded by the Department of State, the ADAPT program aims to enhance the projection capabilities of African militaries to support these mission requirements.

Train and Equip

Provides assistance to enhance the capabilities of a foreign country’s national military forces.

TCT: Traveling Contact Team

Designed to build relationships and satisfy the Army’s Title 10 responsibilities. This is typically a five-day event where the team participates with partner nation’s military on different types of non-training related events.

FAM: Familiarization

Military to Military event that occurs in which an African partner sends a group of military related personnel to American military activities with the purpose being to expose and familiarize the partner nation on some aspect of the U.S. Army.


Bi-lateral and multi-lateral exercises where U.S. forces train with and alongside partner nations. Scenarios and environments vary.

MEDRETE: Medical Readiness Training Exercises

These are designed to train U.S. medical elements and specialists as well as host nation personnel. This increases interoperability and enhances relationships.

Security Sector Reform

Reform or rebuild a state’s security sector. Focuses on where a dysfunctional security sector is unable to provide security to the state and its people effectively and under democratic principles.

HMA: Humanitarian Mine Action Program

Multiple week-long training program with the goal of establishing a self-sustaining indigenous HMA program in select partner nations.

ALFS: African Land Forces Summit

Engagement opportunity that brings together land forces chiefs of staff from African nations and military leadership from the U.S. Army to discuss African security challenges.

Security Force Assistance

The unified action to generate, employ, and sustain local, host-nation or regional security forces in support of a legitimate authority.

SPP: State Partnership Program

This is a National Guard Bureau program. This program provides unique partnership capacity building capabilities to combatant commanders through partnerships between U.S. states and partner nations.

CULP: Culture and Language Program

This is a U.S. Army Cadet Command program. This program utilizes immersion training within a deployment to a partner nation.


2008 – present

In the fall of 2008, SETAF went through major organizational changes as it restructured to support AFRICOM. It was August 2008 when SETAF conducted its final airborne operation and, shortly thereafter, SETAF soldiers replaced their maroon berets with black berets and replaced their airborne tabs with historic SETAF scrolls. [14]

In early December 2008, the U.S. Ambassador to Italy and the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs announced in Rome that SETAF officially had assumed duties as the U.S. Army Africa, the Army component headquarters for AFRICOM. [15]

As of March 2013, during the last 30 months, U.S. Army Africa conducted more than 400 theater security cooperation activities, exercises, and Senior Leader Engagements with each event designed to build partner capacity in Africa.


On July 25, 2003, SETAF was designated to lead the U.S. military mission in Liberia to help prevent an impending humanitarian disaster. A peace agreement was implemented, forces of the warring factions were separated, air and seaports were reopened, and the UN and private humanitarian organizations resumed delivery of badly needed relief.

In February 2005, SETAF was called upon to do their part in the Global War on Terror, deploying to Afghanistan, as part of the Combined Joint Task Force 76.

From June through November 2007, SETAF soldiers deployed to Romania and Bulgaria as a part of Joint Task Force East (now called Task Force-East).[16] TF-East remains an on-going United States European Command initiative to strengthen relationships between the United States and its allies in Eastern Europe.


In March 1991, SETAF's 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry Regiment, deployed to Northern Iraq during Operation Provide Comfort, the U.S. led humanitarian mission to feed and provide life support for thousands of displaced Kurds.

In July 1994, SETAF deployed to Entebbe, Uganda as the core staff of Joint Task Force Support Hope. A total of 2,100 U.S. military personnel, including SETAF's 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry Regiment, deployed to the region to help prevent a humanitarian crisis resulting from large-scale refugee movements caused by the civil war in Rwanda.

SETAF demonstrated its role as the theater's reaction force in December 1995 by deploying as the lead element of the Dayton Peace Accord[18] implementation forces into Bosnia-Herzegovina.[19]

April 1996 proved to be exceptionally busy: Elements of the SETAF Infantry Brigade deployed to Dubrovnik, Croatia to secure the airplane crash site of a plane carrying then U. S. Commerce Secretary Ron Brown. [20]

Another deployment brought SETAF Soldiers to Monrovia, Liberia with Special Operations Forces to facilitate noncombatant evacuation operations. In November 1996, portions of the SETAF-led Joint Task Force Operation Guardian Assistance[21] deployed to Uganda and Rwanda to assess the needs of Rwandan refugees in Zaire.

In March 1997, a SETAF-led Joint Task Force (JTF) headquarters deployed to Brazzaville,[22][23] Congo, in preparation for the potential evacuation of non-combatants from Zaire. The JTF redeployed in April 1997 upon a peaceful government transition in Zaire.


SETAF was formally activated during a ceremony on October 25, 1955.[14][24]

The headquarters, commanded by Maj. Gen. John H. Michaelis, was temporarily established at Camp Darby, near Livorno, Italy with units additionally stationed in Vicenza and Verona. Shortly after activation, SETAF moved the headquarters to Caserma Passalacqua in Verona, Italy. The troop strength reached 10,000 and SETAF was formally established with a U.S./Italian agreement.

In 1959, a third agreement brought significant changes to SETAF, to include assigning Italian Army personnel to the SETAF general staff to assist with unique bi-national responsibilities. In 1963, SETAF lent a helping hand to its Italian neighbors when a huge landslide forced a deluge of water over the Vajont Dam in the Piave Valley killing more than 2,000 people. SETAF helicopters were the first on the scene to provide assistance.

The headquarters moved again in 1965 to Caserma Carlo Ederle in Vicenza.

SETAF's mission and geographical area of responsibility increased in 1972 when the command enlarged its signal support unit and began controlling two Army artillery groups in Greece and Turkey.

With the assignment of the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne Battalion Combat Team) in 1973, SETAF accepted the missions of maintaining and deploying the battalion on its own or as part of the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (Land). Throughout the 1970s and 80s, SETAF continued its tradition of helping their Italian neighbors whenever disaster struck.

Until 1992, SETAF was considered to be a logistical command, but changes in Europe resulting from the end of the Cold War also resulted in new missions for the unit. SETAF shifted focus to regional tactical operations as command and control headquarters for Army and joint units.


  1. ^ Major General Darryl A. Williams, Commander, U.S. Army Africa . Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  2. ^ Deputy Commander, U.S. Army Africa. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  3. ^ "SETAF Takes on a new mission" (Press release). United States Army. 10 Dec 2008. 
  4. ^ "SETAF assumes new mission as Army AFRICOM component" (Press release). United States Army. 13 Jan 2009. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Army Africa official mission statement". 2 Nov 2009. 
  6. ^ "US Army Africa: Official Website". 30 Dec 2012. 

External links

  • U.S. Army Africa's official web site
  • U.S. Army Africa's official photo and video archive
  • Africa Interactive Map from the United States Army Africa
  • United States Africa Command official web site
  • United States Army Garrison – Vicenza
  • 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team
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