AFRICOM bases intel section at Molesworth
January 12, 2009
U.S. Africa Command is basing a large section of its fledgling intelligence operation at RAF Molesworth, a base in England that already houses two global intelligence hubs.
Established in October 2008 and based in Stuttgart, Germany, the command has moved about 150 troops to Molesworth and is in the process of hiring another 150 civilian employees for the intelligence site, said Vince Crawley, AFRICOM spokesman.
About 150 personnel based in Stuttgart will round out the command’s 450-man intelligence operation when all the positions are filled, Crawley said.
While AFRICOM will share information when appropriate with the NATO Intelligence Fusion Center and the U.S. European Command’s Joint Analysis Center at Molesworth, it will work autonomously for the most part, Crawley said.
The existing intelligence infrastructure at Molesworth spurred AFRICOM to establish part of its operation there, Crawley said.
However, AFRICOM will focus on "creating a body of knowledge of African security than can be used by a large number of people vs. classic intelligence," he said. "We’re trying to build an understanding and a picture of what’s happening in Africa that can be shared within the military, other US. government agencies and the international community."
AFRICOM brings all Defense Department programs on the continent under one umbrella. Missions range from anti-terrorism programs in the Horn of Africa to maritime security initiatives and military-to-military training exercises in about 53 countries.
The influx of AFRICOM personnel to England will also bring an estimated 300 additional dependents, Crawley said.
The 501st Combat Support Wing, based at RAF Alconbury, manages housing, education and other services for Molesworth and five other bases in the U.K.
Barring any unexpected changes, the level of housing, services, dependent education and general infrastructure should be sufficient for the AFRICOM personnel, Col. Kimberly K. Toney, 501st Combat Support Wing Commander said in an e-mail.