CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti -- The Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps visited Djibouti, Aug. 18 to congratulate Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa personnel on a job well done and reiterate the importance of their mission here.
Speaking in front of many service members, Marine Gen. William "Spider" Nyland stated American forces will eliminate a lot of the Global War on Terrorism, and CJTF-HOA personnel will have been a huge part of it.
"It may not be readily apparent today. You may not necessarily get to see the fruits of your labor each and everyday, but I would tell you you're making a difference, " said Nyland. "I want to say thank you, God Bless you all and Semper Fidelis."
After the speech, Nyland answered questions service members had and greeted them on a personal level while taking pictures among the crowd.
According to Army Brig. Gen. Willard C. Broadwater, CJTF-HOA deputy commander, Mr. Dionel Aviles, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, and Marine Brig. Gen. Robert Neller, Director of Marine Corps Operations, accompanied Nyland to ensure better awareness of operational reports they receive from around the world, including CJTF-HOA.
"You can read about HOA (back in the states) but you have to really come here to understand the place ... to see the engagement that's going on in the many countries and the actual hard work that exist here in CJTF-HOA," said Broadwater.
Along with Broadwater, Marine Brig. Gen. Mastin M. Robeson, CJTF-HOA commander, and Sgt. Maj. William L. Hunt, CJTF-HOA sergeant major, escorted the official party around the camp and to the dining facilities where they ate lunch with fellow service members.
"It's important for Gen. Nyland to come to Djibouti to see firsthand what is actually happening with the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines when they have their boots on the ground," said Broadwater. "He is able to receive a classified briefing, indicating intelligence and operations ongoing in CJTF-HOA, and is able to meet and greet the soldiers of CJTF-HOA on a personal level."
Broadwater added a visit like this helps the senior leadership see where the men and women of the Armed Forces are working, sleeping and eating. "When Gen. Nyland returns to the Pentagon, he can report what he has observed of the location and how the troops are living at (Camp Lemonier). I heard him say on numerous occasions 'these are things you just don't learn about back at the Pentagon.'"
"He'll carry back a lot of favorable stories of what we're doing here," said Broadwater.