The U.S.-led counterterrorism force in the Horn of Africa will be getting a new commander, the Pentagon announced Friday.

Rear Adm. Philip H. Greene Jr., is being assigned as commander, Combined Joint Task Force — Horn of Africa, which is based out of Camp Lemonier, Djibouti.

Greene is currently serving as director, Navy Europe programs, resources, and support/director, transformation activities, U.S. Naval Forces Europe, in Naples, Italy.

There was no announcement on the new assignment for Rear Adm. James M. Hart, who assumed command of CJTF — HOA in February.

According to his Navy biography, Greene is a native of Southern California and graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy in 1978.

He has previously commanded Destroyer Squadron 31, the Spruance class destroyer USS Fletcher, and the Patrol Missile Hydrofoil USS Taurus.

Previous shore assignments include duty as Chief, North East Asia/China Division, The Joint Staff/Political–Military Directorate (J5) and executive assistant to the superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy.

CJFT-HOA is composed of some 2,000 servicemembers and civilians from a range of countries. The mission of the Horn of Africa task force, officials have said, is to prevent Islamic militants from establishing a foothold in a region whose widespread poverty, instability and lack of food and water make it a potential breeding ground for terrorists.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now