CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti (NNS) -- Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, visited Sailors deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti (CLDJ), Feb. 5-6.
The joint warfighters deployed to CLDJ play an important part in the overall mission. U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations (AOO) is currently one of the most dynamic.
"Camp Lemonnier is located at a strategic hub here in Djibouti, in the critical node of the Horn of Africa," said Foggo. "It is critical and strategic because it serves both the 5th and 6th Fleets. So having this base and port facility here is absolutely essential to naval operations in both theaters. The work here is very important, and the location is very critical to our operations day-to-day."
The relationship between the U.S government and the Djiboutian government is very strong, partly because of the effect the U.S. government has had on the Djiboutian economy.
"We are here and in any given day roughly 1,000 Djiboutian workers come through the gate and are employed in this facility," said Foggo. "We provide an incredible amount of feedback into the Djiboutian economy. I think we are the third largest employer in Djibouti, and that is important for our African partners as they grow in a free market, their economy expands, and they become much more influential in the Horn of Africa."
Foggo had the opportunity to meet with U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti Larry Andre, CLDJ Commanding Officer Capt. Nancy S. Lacore and other senior leadership during his visit. He was impressed with the direction of the installation and wanted to recognize the personnel who provide exceptional support on a daily basis.
"I think you are all doing a great job," said Foggo. "Keep it up. I hope to be back here periodically throughout the year to visit and see more improvements and more change. The world is a dangerous place; it's becoming a very challenging environment. I want you to be safe out there, but to also be bold, be courageous and carry on."
During his visit, Foggo toured the installation, to include visiting the fitness center, the Navy Exchange, and the headquarters building. Construction Manager Lt. Jose Rodriguez conducted a tour of the headquarters building, which provided insight into the plans and direction of the base.
"This building illustrates where [Camp Lemonnier] is heading," said Rodriguez. "It shows the progress to modernize our facilities as we move from expeditionary to an enduring installation. This facility is the face of CLDJ and long-term vision on where we are heading in the future."
"The last time I was here was Thanksgiving of 2015," said Foggo. "Every time I return, I notice improvements here and a lot of change. One thing that doesn't change is every Sailor that I have met - every chief petty officer and officer - is gung-ho and enthusiastic about the mission, and that mission is support to the fleet."
During an interview, Foggo touched on the importance of safety, training and the care of Sailors deployed to Camp Lemonnier.
"Safety is important," he said. "First and foremost is safety of personnel, and then safety of ships and the continuity of operations. I want to make sure that we are operating in accordance with all of our standard operating procedures, but that we are taking care of one another."
Camp Lemonnier's mission includes enabling joint warfighters operating forward and to reinforce the U.S.-Djibouti relationship by providing exceptional services and facilities for the tenant commands, transient U.S. assets and service members.
Camp Lemonnier is one of Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia, installations that conducts eight lines of operation to support air operations, port operations, safety, security, housing, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Fleet and Family Support and what is called the core: the fuels, water and power that keep the bases operating.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, Italy, oversees joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners to enable enduring relationships and increase vigilance and resilience in Europe and Africa.
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For more news from Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/CAMPL/.