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    CLDJ and CJTF-HOA take part in USA Friendship Day in Djibouti

    USA Friendship Day in Djibouti City

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph Rullo | DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti – Service members forward deployed to Camp Lemonnier,...... read more read more

    DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti (Dec. 8, 2018) – Service members from the Army, Navy and Air Force forward deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), base civilian employees and U.S. Embassy personnel took part in the first USA Friendship Day at the Djibouti International Trade Fair at the Palise du Peuple, Dec. 8, 2018.

    The week-long Djibouti International Trade Fair cultural exchange, which included other countries such as France and Italy, dedicated its last day to displays that introduced U.S. culture to those in attendance. More than 20 base personnel staffed tables, which included music and art demonstrations, interactive history and science displays, sports and gaming tables and a children’s corner complete with a dinosaur costume worn by Logistic Specialist 2nd Class Dawn Arnold.

    The Djibouti Chamber of Commerce President, Youssouf Moussa, opened the event with remarks in French, Somali and English. He stressed the United States is a friend to Djibouti and he would like to continue a very strong relationship between the two countries.

    During Moussa’s speech, he thanked Camp Lemonnier for employing Djiboutians on base.

    “We thank Camp Lemonnier for giving [a] chance to many Djiboutians to work inside and to be partnered with Camp Lemonnier,” Moussa said. “I want to thank the Camp Lemonnier staff.”

    The American government is one of the largest employers in Djibouti.

    Ambassador Larry André, who was appointed by President Trump as the United States Ambassador to the Republic of Djibouti on Nov. 20, 2017, spoke next and echoed Moussa’s remarks.

    André opened his remarks in French and said the partnership between the United States and Djibouti began on the day of the East African’s country independence, June 27, 1977. He said since then the relationship between the two countries has grown stronger in economic, security and cultural spheres.

    André spoke about many educational advancements happening in Djibouti with the help of U.S. investment to the Djiboutian economy and acknowledged the efforts of the service members of Camp Lemonnier for assisting in that effort.

    “There are quite a number of our American military service members based at Camp Lemonnier who participate in English discussion groups,” André said. “So many Djiboutian young people tell me they get the theory [of English] but need to practice and so our [service members] are helping with that practice.”

    During the 3-hour event, service members interacted with Djiboutians, some of whom had never met an American before. They posed for pictures, played board games and took selfies with the U.S. flag.

    In addition to the U.S. displays, there were demonstrations from local Djibouti dance and music troops. The two groups eventually united and performed together when Yeoman 2nd Class Azer Itarasoto played Purple Haze by Jimi Hendricks, accompanied by two Djiboutians playing bongos and a djembe, a traditional African percussion instrument.

    Commanding Officer of Camp Lemonnier, Navy Capt. Charles J. DeGilio, attended USA Friendship Day and explained the importance of creating understanding between the people of Djibouti and the United States. Emphasizing the Djibouti International Trade Fair also helps to bring U.S. businesses to Djibouti and creates an understanding of how we do business and to sample our culture.

    DeGilio said that since 65 percent of the people stationed on Camp Lemonnier are from the reserve component of the Armed Forces, they bring a unique perspective of the U.S. to Djibouti. He said personnel deployed here for as long as one year come from all over the U.S. and from many different professional backgrounds.

    “When you’re talking to someone from the base, you could be talking to someone from Maine, San Diego, Washington or Missouri, with a wide range of civilian careers,” DeGilio said. “The folks here today are a very diverse group and a great representation of a cross section of the United States; they are amazing ambassadors of U.S. culture.”

    Camp Lemonnier is an operationally-focused shore installation that enables U.S., allied and partner nation forces to be where and when they are needed to ensure security and stability in Europe, Africa and Southwest Asia.

    The mission of Camp Lemonnier is to enable joint warfighters operating forward and to reinforce the relationship between the United States and Djibouti by conducting five key shore missions – air operations, port operations, security, safety and quality of life – and providing core mission enablers such as fuel, water and power for tenant commands, transient U.S. assets and individual service members.



    Date Taken: 12.08.2018
    Date Posted: 12.10.2018 03:52
    Story ID: 302772
    Location: CU

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