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    Kings Park, New York Native Serves as U.S. Navy Officer in Horn of Africa

    CLDJ’s Department in the Spotlight - EMF

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Marquis Whitehead | CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Keith Laffman, from Kings Park, New...... read more read more

    CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Lt. Cmdr. Keith Laffman, a native of Kings Park, New York, is a U.S. Navy officer deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. As the Expeditionary Medical Facility’s (EMF) director for administration, he is responsible for the daily business and operation of the EMF. Located in an austere environment, Camp Lemonnier is a U.S. Navy base located in the Horn of Africa and is the only enduring U.S. military base on the continent of Africa.

    Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti provides, operates, and sustains superior service in support of combat readiness and security of ships, aircraft, detachments and personnel for regional and combatant command requirements, enabling operations and providing stability in the Horn of Africa while fostering
    positive U.S.-African Nations relations.

    Laffman, a 1994 graduate of Kings Park High School and 2010 graduate of John’s Hopkins University, credits his success in the Navy and during the deployment to the lessons he learned growing up in Kings

    “I learned that through hard work, anything is achievable,” Laffman said.

    According to Navy officials, maintaining maritime superiority is a vital part of a Navy that is present today and prepared for tomorrow. The impact affects Americans and their interests around the world, as more than 70 percent of the Earth is covered by water and 90 percent of all trade travels by sea.

    “Camp Lemonnier is a key Navy base and a vital asset to the United States as our location in the Horn of Africa overlooks the world’s fourth busiest waterway,” said Capt. Ken Crowe, commanding officer of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. “A mission as critical as ours comes with a lot of responsibilities and challenges, but our military members and civilians work hard. I’m honored to serve alongside each and every one of them, including Lt. Cmdr. Laffman.”

    Laffman plays an important role in America’s focus on rebuilding military readiness, strengthening alliances and reforming business practices in support of the National Defense Strategy.

    “I am confident that we will maximize the Navy we have today while delivering the Navy that our nation will rely upon tomorrow,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations. “We will do so with

    urgency. Our fleet will be a potent, formidable force that competes around the world every day, deterring those who would challenge us while reassuring our allies and partners.”

    Though there are many ways for sailors to earn distinction in their command, community and career, Laffman is most proud of earning his commission.

    “I was enlisted for 15 years as a physical therapy technician,” said Laffman. “It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but I earned my commission as an officer.”

    Laffman comes from a history of military service: his father is an Air Force veteran and both his uncle and grandfather are Navy veterans. He says he would welcome his children to follow his footsteps and
    join the Navy.

    “I’d support them 100 percent if that’s what they wanted to do,” Laffman said. “I feel everyone should serve their country.”



    Date Taken: 05.22.2020
    Date Posted: 06.29.2020 09:32
    Story ID: 372996
    Location: DJ
    Hometown: KINGS PARK, NY, US

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