USS MOUNT WHITNEY (LCC/JCC-20) -- Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) commander, Maj. Gen. John F. Sattler hosted a visit by Vice Adm. J. Cutler Dawson, Jr., commander of the Norfolk, Va.-based U.S. Second Fleet and NATO Striking Fleet Atlantic today at the CJTF-HOA headquarters in the Gulf of Aden.
Dawson met with a number of personnel while aboard USS Mount Whitney, the former Second Fleet flagship currently serving as the hub for counter-terrorism operations encompassing the total airspace, land areas and coastal waters of Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti and Yemen.
Dawson and Sattler discussed current operations in the Horn of Africa region, the future of security cooperation with sea and land-based coalition forces and ways to expand information sharing between all coalition military forces and Horn of Africa governments.
In addition to discussions with the ship's commanding officer, Capt. David W. Prothero, Dawson also addressed USS Mount Whitney sailors. Emphasizing they are involved in a long-term effort demanding sacrifice, he thanked them for their professionalism, dedication and service to the nation in support of the Global War on Terrorism.
A meeting with all coalition liaison officers assigned to CJTF-HOA highlighted that a key outcome of the war on terrorism thus far is the U.S. has established and reinforced strong relationships with many different countries aimed at stopping terrorism.
Leaving his former home, USS Mount Whitney, via an H-46 Sea Knight helicopter from Air Squadron-6, Norfolk Naval Base, Va., Vice Adm. Dawson boarded the Combined Task Force - 150 (CTF-150)) command ship, Italy's ITS Mimbell, for meetings with the new task force commander Rear. Adm. Rinaldo Veri.
Veri, who recently discussed current and future operations in the Horn of Africa region with Maj. Gen. Sattler, aboard USS Mount Whitney, on Feb. 7, leads a ten-ship naval task force comprised of forces from Italy, France, Germany, Great Britain and the United States.
CTF-150's Global War on Terrorism mission is focused on searching for terrorist operatives and contraband while patrolling the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean areas around the Horn of Africa.
To wrap up the day, Dawson flew back to Djibouti for a tour of Camp Lemonier, home to nearly 1,300 CJTF-HOA personnel representing all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, civilian representatives and coalition partner personnel.
The mission of CJTF-HOA is to detect, disrupt and defeat transnational terrorist groups in the Horn of Africa region. CJTF-HOA is also working closely with coalition partners to establish conditions leading to long-term stability within the region, thus denying the opportunity for reemergence of terrorist networks.
The CJTF headquarters was formed to oversee operations in the region for U.S. Central Command, in support of the Global War on Terrorism. In addition to forces at Camp Lemonier, the headquarters staff aboard USS Mount Whitney numbers about 400, while CJTF-HOA also has a small number of liaison personnel working in other parts of the region.
Vice Adm. Dawson, a Richmond, Va. native and 1970 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, assumed his current duties in August 2001. He has commanded USS Molala (ATF-106), USS Bronstein (FF-1037), USS Harry W. Hill (DD-986), USS Princeton (CG 59), and Cruiser-Destroyer Group Twelve/Enterprise Battle Group. Additionally, Dawson has served as the Director of the Navy's Senate Liaison Office and as the Navy's Chief of Legislative Affairs.