Friday, January 05, 2007

Soldiers Make a Difference in Kenya

Combined Joint Task Force
- Horn of Africa
Soldiers Making a Difference
in Kenya
A Kenyan National Youth Serviceman uses a drench gun to put a tick killer on the back of a goat, while another vaccinates it, during a Veterinarian Civil Action program (VETCAP) project.

US Army Staff Sergeant Tony Vinas moves cattle through a chute during a VETCAP project.

CJTF-HOA - Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa

CJTF-HOA operates from Camp Lemonier, Djibouti. Since May 13, 2003, their mission is to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect Coalition interests in East Africa and Yemen. This is accomplished through humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, consequence management, civic action programs to include medical and veterinary care, school and medical clinic construction and water development projects.

Five US Army soldiers deployed to a Contingency Operation Location in Manda Bay, Kenya from the 413th Civil Affairs Battalion, CJTF-HOA. Their mission is to target projects that address humanitarian missions and impact development in the region. We win here by making very worthy friends, reducing or eliminating the conditions that foster terrorism.

These five soldiers are reservists. They bring additional skills to the mission from their civilian professions. This team is made up of a school teacher, two policemen, a firefighter and a computer technician.

Currently the team is working alongside the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the National Youth Service of Operation Honest Knight, a Veterinarian Civic Action Program (VETCAP) in the Lamu District Islands on the southern coast of Kenya.

"VETCAP is the best thing to happen to the people of the Lamu district and their livestock," said Levi Mbuva, a member of the National Youth Servicemen. "This is because healthy animals mean better life for the people living in their marginalized islands."

They spent five days covering three islands and six locations caring for and treating more than 5,000 cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys.

Mbuva said, "Being a member of the service involved in this excursion is actually the best thing to happen to me in the recent past because it gives me an opportunity to serve the needy people of my nation and lets me see people appreciate what you are doing for them. It also gives me an opportunity to interact with representatives of the American government and represent my own country."

The civil affairs team was responsible for all of the logistical support and transportation for the VETCAP, including ordering and supplying the medical supplies, contacting eight boats to transport more than 30 people and supplies to the six locations, as well as coordinating each visit with the village chiefs on the islands.

Photos by US Air Force Technical Sergeant Sean M Worrell. Reference articles by US Army Sergeant James Allen.


Mike's America said...

Did you see the story in 2005 about the abused Cheetah cubs our troops rescued in Ethiopia?

Good humanitarian work we are doing over there, and I am also glad to see we are encouraging the Ethiopians and Kenyans in rounding up Al Queda in Somalia.

Flag Gazer said...

Yes, Mike, that is an outstanding story...there are so many... they make me proud!!