Stripes to begin printing papers in Horn of Africa
The following correction to this story was posted Dec. 7, 2006: Although the number of those assigned may grow with further deployments, a figure of 5,000 troops operating out of Djibouti, as reported by Stars and Stripes last Saturday, was incorrect.
WASHINGTON — Stars and Stripes next week will begin printing newspapers on the continent of Africa for the first time since the end of World War II.
Stripes has contracted with a printer in the nation of Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa, to serve the roughly 5,000 U.S. servicemembers supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.
This will bring to nine the number of print sites that Stripes uses around the globe.
“There are approximately 5,000 servicemembers working out of Djibouti,” said publisher Tom Kelsch. “Their media access is very limited. By arranging for them to receive fresh news every morning, we hope to add to their well-being and morale. The mission of Stars and Stripes is to provide a newspaper to U.S. servicemembers wherever in the world they are stationed. We’re excited about being able to do that for our troops stationed on the Horn of Africa.”
Stripes had been flying some 100 newspapers into Djibouti as regularly as possible from Qatar, but air travel interruptions often meant that papers arrived days after publication and in insufficient quantities. Stripes will print 400 papers a day.
Stars and Stripes has deployed reporters for weeks at a time to cover operations there.
Past Africa print sites were Algiers, Cairo, Casablanca and Tunis during World War II, the last of those editions being phased out in late 1945.
The paper will be distributed free to servicemembers in and around Camp Lemonier, just as it is to most deployed servicemembers and contractors operating in the Central Command Area of Operations.