Navy Capt. Robert Fahey relieved Marine Corps Col. Gerard Fischer as commander of Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, on Saturday.
The 90-acre base is home to about 1,500 U.S. and foreign military personnel assigned to Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa.
This is the first time a Navy officer has commanded the base since U.S. forces arrived in the area in May 2003, officials said.
“While Camp Lemonier is commanded by the Navy, we’re largely ‘joint’ all the way across the board,” said Fahey, a Navy Seabee. Joint refers to the command having military members from other U.S. services assigned to it.
Earlier this year, Rear Adm. Richard Hunt took over as commander of JTF-HOA forces, which are there to “detect, disrupt and defeat trans-national terrorism” in the region, according to a Navy news release.
Later in the week, the military announced it had reached an agreement to expand the base to some 500 acres. Information on what the expansion means for the future of the mission and whether it would mean increased forces was not available as of Thursday.