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STUTTGART, Germany — By the time it becomes fully operational on Oct. 1, the U.S. Africa Command will be home to about 1,300 Defense Department personnel: 500 more than originally estimated, a top command official said Monday.

The military’s newest headquarters command — made up largely of planners, logisticians and analysts — also will be staying in Stuttgart for the foreseeable future, said Vice Adm. Robert T. Moeller, deputy to the commander for military operations, in an interview Monday at AFRICOM headquarters.

“From here we can do all the activities we need to do with our African partners,” Moeller said.

The eventual staff of 1,300 does not include people coming from other agencies. The State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development will place staff at AFRICOM. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps also are forming small component commands to address needs in Africa that are specific to those service branches, he said.

Other U.S. agencies, such as the departments of Commerce, Justice, Treasury and Agriculture, are being examined for ways to contribute to the command.

AFRICOM staff will spend this year taking ownership of ongoing U.S. military activities in Africa. Three other U.S. commands — the Stuttgart-based European Command, the Honolulu-based Pacific Command and Tampa, Fla.-based Central Command — currently oversee military training, exercises and other activities on various parts of the continent.

“First and foremost, in terms of hitting the ground running, is to maintain all that level of activity,” Moeller said. “With one command solely focused on all these activities, we certainly believe we will be more effective and more responsive to our African partners.”

Once the command is at full strength, Moeller said, the military would look for further ways to work with African nations who request U.S. assistance.

For a number of years, U.S. troops have trained with militaries from various nations on the African continent, in addition to performing medical and humanitarian missions.

Currently, in Djibouti on the eastern side of the continent, about 1,800 mostly-U.S. personnel operate Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. They provide military and civil services to nations in that region.

In the west, the logistics ship USS Fort McHenry is cruising the Gulf of Guinea and making port calls as the flagship of the Africa Partnership Station, a sort of floating military base. Its troops are serving a seven-month deployment.

“All of this is about the idea of building the capacity of our African partners,” Moeller said. “It all has to be done in a measured way, in conjunction with their desires and their interests and what makes sense from their perspective.”


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