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United States Army Africa (SETAF) is the Army component command of United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM or AFRICOM)


United States Army Africa is headquarted on Caserma Ederlemarker, Vicenzamarker, Italymarker. The current commanding general of USARAF is Major General William B. Garrett III, USA


In mid 2006, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld formed a planning team to advise on requirements for establishing a new Unified Command for the African continent. In early December, he made his recommendations to President George W. Bush.

On February 6, 2007, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced to the Senate Armed Services Committee that President George W. Bush had given authority to create the new African Command and U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert Moeller, the director of the AFRICOM transition team, arrived in Stuttgart Germany to begin creating the logistical framework for the command.

On September 28 the U.S. Senate confirmed General William E. Ward as USAFRICOM's first commander and USAFRICOM officially became operational as a sub-unified command of EUCOM with a separate headquarters.

During a public ceremony on December 9, 2008, United States Army Africa was established as the land component of USAFRICOM. The ceremony followed an official announcement by the U.S. and Italian governments Dec. 3 in Rome that SETAF would become U.S. Army Africa.

According to Army Times, the ceremony marked the end of the airborne chapter of the task force’s history and the beginning of its new role as the Army component of USAFRICOM.

In Oct. 2009, the Department of the Army established United States Army Africa as its newest Component Command.

Official Mission

According to U.S Army Africa's formal mission statement, USARAF is the U.S. Army's land component to United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM). The mission statement goes on to say that, "USARAF, in concert with national and international partners, conducts sustained security engagements with African land forces to promote peace, stability, and security in Africa. As directed, U.S Army Africa deploys as a contingency headquarters in support of crisis response."

Exercise Natural Fire 10

Natural Fire 10 was a multi-national, globally resourced exercise focused on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

According to U.S Army Africa, the goals of the exercise were "to promote interoperability between U.S. Army Africa and the militaries of partner nations, while improving capabilities to respond to complex humanitarian emergencies." Roughly 650 troops from Burundimarker, Kenyamarker, Rwandamarker, Tanzania, Uganda, along with U.S. service members, participated in the exercise. According to U.S Army Africa, the exercise brought together more than 1,200 service members and civilians from six countries.

U.S Army Africa and the Uganda People's Defence Force co-led the exercise, that began on Oct. 16, 2009 and ended on Oct. 25, 2009.

Headquartered in Vicenza, Italy, U.S Army Africa is the Army component to United States Africa Command.

Natural Fire 10 took place at three locations in Uganda; Entebbemarker, Kampalamarker and Kitgummarker. At the first two sites, U.S. and African military leaders took part in a tabletop exercise - facing simulated emergencies in Africa. The tabletop exercise was developed for senior and mid-level military leaders to garner experience in responding to disasters, offering humanitarian assistance and preparing for pandemic situations.

Participants in Natural Fire 10 also practiced tasks such as convoy operations, crowd control, weapons handling and techniques for establishing and manning vehicle checkpoints. Also in Kitgummarker, U.S.troops and East African partners provided medical, dental and engineering support to local communities.

According to U.S. Army Africa, Natural Fire 10 "validated its yearlong transition to becoming America's premier Army team for achieving positive change in Africa. By building capacity within partner nations and increasing our ability to work together, U.S. Army Africa will be better prepared for future engagements. In doing so, the U.S. Army also solidified military rapport with allies in East Africa, key to supporting stability in the region."


Image:US_ARMY_AFRICA_0001.jpg|Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III (right), U.S. Army Africa commanding general and exercise director, discusses Natural Fire 10 with Brig. Gen. Silver Kayemba, exercise deputy director, Uganda People's Defence Force.Image:US_ARMY_AFRICA_0002.jpg|Military and civic leaders from Burundimarker, Kenyamarker, Rwandamarker, Tanzania and Uganda came together to take part in a table top exercise (TTX) as part of Natural Fire 10.Image:US_ARMY_AFRICA_0004.jpg|East African Community military members line up to board a U.S. Army CH-47 Chinook for transport to a training range, Kitgummarker, Uganda, Oct. 20, 2009.Image:US_ARMY_AFRICA_0006.jpg|Local school children look at the Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck near Lagwal Dam, Kitgummarker, Uganda, Oct. 13, 2009. The U.S. vehicle was in Africa to support the U.S. Army Africa's exercise Natural Fire 10.Image:US_ARMY_AFRICA_0007.jpg| U.S. Air Force Major Todd Hnatko, from the 148th Medical Group, Air National Guard, Duluth, MN, checks Ugandan patient during Natural Fire 10 at Palabek Kal Health Clinic in Uganda, Oct 18, 2009.Image:US_ARMY_AFRICA_0009_KIGALI_MEMORIAL.jpg|Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III (center), U.S. Army Africa commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Gary Bronson (right), place a wreath on the site of a mass grave at the Kigalimarker Memorial Center during a visit to Rwandamarker Oct. 19.Image:US_ARMY_AFRICA_NF10_0015.jpg|U.S. and African troops participate in opening ceremony for Natural Fire 10, Oct 16, 2009, Uganda, Africa.Image:US_ARMY_AFRICA_NF10_0016.jpg|Maj. Gen. William B. Garrett III, Gen. Nyakayirima Aronda, and Gen. Jeremiah Kianga, render honors during the opening ceremony for Natural Fire 10, Kitgummarker, Uganda, Oct. 16, 2009.



SETAF was formally activated during a ceremony October 25, 1955.

The headquarters, commanded by Maj. Gen. John Michaelis, was temporarily established at Camp Darby with units stationed in Vicenzamarker and Veronamarker. Shortly after activation, SETAF moved the headquarters to Veronamarker, to Caserma Passalacqua. Troop strength reached 10,000 and SETAF was formally established with a U.S.-Italian agreement.

In 1959 a third agreement brought significant changes to SETAF, to include assigning Italian Army personnel to the SETAF general staff to assist with unique bi-national responsibilities.

In 1963, SETAF lent a helping hand to its Italian neighbors when a huge landslide forced a deluge of water over the Vajontmarker Dam in the Piave Valley killing more than 2,000 people. SETAF helicopters were the first on the scene to provide assistance.

The headquarters moved again in 1965 to Caserma Carlo Ederle in Vicenza.

SETAF's mission and geographical area of responsibility increased in 1972 when the command enlarged its signal support unit and took control of two Army Artillery Groups in Greecemarker and Turkeymarker.

With the assignment of the 1st Battalion, 509th Infantry (Airborne Battalion Combat Team) in 1973, SETAF accepted the missions of maintaining and deploying the battalion on its own or as part of the Allied Command Europe Mobile Force (Land). Throughout the 1970s and 80s, SETAF continued its tradition of helping out its Italian neighbors whenever disaster struck.

Until 1992, SETAF was considered to be a logistical command, but changes in Europe in 1989 and 1990 resulted in new missions. SETAF shifted focus to regional tactical operations as command and control headquarters for Army and Joint units.


In March 1991, SETAF's 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry Regiment, deployed to northern Iraqmarker during Operation Provide Comfort, the U. S. led humanitarian mission to feed and provide other life support for thousands of displaced Kurds.

In July 1994, SETAF deployed to Entebbemarker, Uganda as the core staff of Joint Task Force Support Hope. A total of 2,100 U. S. military personnel, including SETAF's 3rd Battalion (Airborne), 325th Infantry Regiment, deployed to the region to help prevent a humanitarian crisis resulting from large-scale refugee movements caused by the civil war in Rwandamarker.

SETAF demonstrated its role as the theater's reaction force in December 1995 by deploying as the lead element of the Dayton Peace Accord implementation forces into Bosnia-Herzegovinamarker.

April 1996 proved to be exceptionally busy: Elements of the SETAF Infantry Brigade deployed to Dubrovnikmarker, Croatiamarker to secure the crash site of U. S. Treasury Secretary Ron Brown's plane.

Another company-plus deployed to Monroviamarker, Liberiamarker with special operations forces to facilitate noncombatant evacuation operations. In November 1996, portions of the SETAF-led Joint Task Force Operation Guardian Assistance deployed to Uganda and Rwandamarker to assess the needs of Rwandan refugees in Zairemarker.

In March 1997, a SETAF-led Joint Task Force headquarters deployed to Brazzavillemarker, Congomarker, in preparation for the potential evacuation of non-combatants from Zairemarker. The JTF redeployed in April 1997 upon a peaceful government transition in Zairemarker.


On March 26, 2003, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, SETAF's 173d Airborne Brigade conducted a parachute assault into Northern Iraq. About 1,000 paratroopers jumped into Bashur Airfield in a historical and critical mission called Operation Northern Delay. The brigade remained in Iraqmarker for a year conducting a variety of missions from defeating insurgents to building and renovating schools.

After gunfire breaks out during a demonstration in downtown Kirkuk, Iraq, a US Army (USA) Soldier, 173rd Airborne Brigade (ABN BDE), Caserma Ederle, Italy (ITA), mans his FNMI 7.62 mm M240G machine gun and keeps a watchful eye on the perimeter of a government building.

On July 25, 2003, SETAF was designated to lead the US military mission in Liberiamarker to help prevent an impending humanitarian disaster. A peace agreement was implemented, forces of the warring factions were separated, air and seaports were reopened, and the United Nations and private humanitarian organizations resumed delivery of badly needed relief.

In February 2005, both SETAF and the 173d Airborne Brigade were called upon to do their part in the global war on terror, deploying to Afghanistanmarker, as part of the Combined Joint Task Force 76.

The U.S. Army's transformation saw the 173d Airborne Brigade change into an Airborne Brigade Combat Team in 2006. The 173rd ABCT, with its headquarters and two battalions from Vicenzamarker and four battalions in Germanymarker, deployed in May 2007, again to Afghanistanmarker, in support of NATOmarker's International Security Assistance Force. The brigade redeployed in the summer of 2008.

From June through November 2007, SETAF Soldiers deployed to Romaniamarker and Bulgariamarker as a part of Joint Task Force East. JTF-East is an on-going United States European Command initiative to strengthen relationships between the United Statesmarker and our Eastern European allies.

In July 2008, SETAF provided command and control for Exercise Immediate Response in the Republic of Georgiamarker. IR08 provided U.S. European Command another opportunity to develop a partnership with our allies.


In the fall of 2008 SETAF went through major organizational changes as it restructured its mission-focus to support of USAFRICOM. In August 2008, SETAF conducted its final airborne operation and, shortly thereafter, SETAF Soldiers replaced their maroon berets with black ones and replaced their airborne tabs with historic SETAF scrolls.

In early Dec. 2008, the U.S. Ambassador to Italy and the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs announced in Romemarker that SETAF officially assumed duties as the Army component headquarters for U.S. Africa Command .

In Oct. 2009, United States Army Africa conducted Natural Fire 10, its first large-scale humanitarian and crisis response joint military exercise on the African continent. The Department of the Army also established United States Army Africa as its newest Component Command.

Historical Photos

Image:SETAF_HISTORY_173RD_0001.jpg|U.S. Army 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne), 173rd Infantry Brigade Soldiers, Afghan National Army soldiers and Afghan Border Police establish a security perimeter around a helicopter landing zone in the mountains surrounding the village of Shaleh, Afghanistanmarker, April 12, 2008, during Operation Enduring Freedom.Image:SETAF_Historical_0006.jpg|A U.S. Army jumpmaster, left, conducts a mandatory pre-inspection on 1st Lt. Paul Thomas prior to Thomas' parachute jump on Juliet Drop Zone at Aviano Air Basemarker, Italymarker, June 29, 2006. Both Soldiers are with 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne).Image:SETAF_HISTORY_0003.JPEG|A US Air Force C-130 Hercules of the 86th Airlift Wing, Ramstein Air Basemarker, Germanymarker, off-loads the US Army paratroopers of the 1st of the 508th Airborne, Southern European Task Force (SETAF) out of Vicenzamarker, Italymarker, it was carrying during Exercise VENETO RESCUE on June 6th, 2000 at Aviano Air Basemarker, Italymarker.Image:SETAF_HISTORY_0002.JPEG|Members of the U.S. Army's Southern European Task Force (SETAF) and the Hungarian Army get briefed at Kecskemet Airbase, Hungarymarker before a jump on June 24th, 2000, for Exercise Lariat Response.Image:SETAF_HISTORICAL_0008.JPEG| U.S. Army (USA) paratroopers from 1st Battalion (BN), 508th Infantry (INF), Fort Braggmarker, North Carolinamarker (NC), land on the drop zone (DZ) during airborne operations conducted by the 173rd Airborne Brigade (AB BDE), Caserma Ederle, Italymarker (ITA), at the Vitina DZ, in Kosovomarker during JOINT GUARDIAN II.Image:SETAF_HISTORY_173RD_0002.jpg|U.S. Army Col. Charles Preysler, foreground, right, commander, Task Force Bayonet, and Sgt. Maj. Womack case the 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team (United States colors for the last time in an undisclosed location in Afghanistanmarker July 24, 2008, for their return to Caserme Ederle Vicenzamarker, Italymarker.Image:SETAF_HISTORY_0015.JPEG|A paratrooper of the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Brigade (Airborne Combat Team) rests during their flight to the bunker drop zone in a C-130 Hercules.Image:SETAF_HISTORY_0016.JPEG|U.S. Army jumpmaster Staff Sergeant Nathaniel Brinson of the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Brigade (Airborne Combat Team) from Vicenzamarker, Italymarker, Southern European Task Force looks for the signal from the C-130 Hercules loadmaster that the paratroopers on board are ready to be dropped.


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