Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    New York National Guard Soldiers complete security mission in the Horn of Africa


    Photo By Staff Sgt. William Rosado | New York Army National Guard 1st Lt. Peter Clark, a member of D Company, 1st...... read more read more

    CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – The New York Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment celebrated a successful nine-month overseas deployment during a transfer of authority ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, on June 3, 2023

    During the ceremony, the unit, dubbed Task Force Wolfhound, turned over control of an East Africa security mission in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, to Task Force Tomahawk, a roughly 1,100 Soldier task force.

    The core of Task Force Tomahawk’s Soldiers are assigned to the Oklahoma Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 179th Infantry Regiment.

    Task Force Wolfhound deployed to the Horn of Africa in Sep. 2022 and conducted security operations at U.S. installations in Djibouti, Kenya, and Somalia.

    The task force was built around the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, based in New York City.

    Soldiers from from the New York National Guard’s Alpha Company and Charlie Company, part of the 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment, and Alpha Troop of the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment, were also assigned to the task force.

    Lt. Col Shawn Tabankin, the commander of Task Force Wolfhound, praised the New York National Guard Soldiers for their efforts during the mission.

    “You’ve secured United States interests and facilities and you’ve worked with our allies and African Partners, to be their partner of choice,” Tabankin said.

    “You were prepared and responded to crises. And you have worked by, with, and through our African partners to achieve our common goals,” he added.

    During the deployment Task Force Wolfhound provided 24-hour perimeter security for five U.S. installations across three African countries.

    Working alongside international forces, Task Force Wolfhound conducted more than 450 mounted and dismounted patrols to protect U.S. interests abroad.

    The task force also staffed the East Africa Response Force, or EARF.

    Founded in the wake of the 2012 attack in Benghazi, the EARF consists of a specially trained and equipped rifle company postured to respond at short notice to a broad range of military operations, such as crisis response, security augmentation of U.S. embassies and facilities, and military-assisted departure or non-combatant evacuation operations.

    During the deployment, the EARF conducted multiple emergency deployment readiness exercises to maintain their skills and hone their mission set.

    Major Gen. Jami Shawley, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, said the men and women of Task Force Wolfhound had carried out that mission well.

    “You conducted monthly training exercises and drills to ensure the EARF’s readiness to respond to any crisis within Sub-Saharan Africa,” Shawley said.

    “You accomplished your mission with a level of competence and proficiency indicative of your storied history,” she added.

    The planning and skills of the EARF was put to the test during the April 2023 crisis in Sudan which saw the shuttering of the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum and the evacuation of U.S. diplomats and their families.

    Though the EARF did not deploy to Sudan, their planning and crisis response skills proved invaluable during the successful evacuation of U.S. citizens from the area of hostilities.

    In addition to the EARF, Task Force Wolfhound led the Camp Lemonnier quick reaction force and was tasked with providing security support for multiple U.S. flagged vessels during port calls at the nearby Port of Djibouti.

    During the deployment Task Force Wolfhound Soldiers trained alongside international partners from Djibouti, France, Italy, Japan, and Spain.

    The New York National Guard Soldiers also participated in Exercise Bull Shark 2022, a twice-yearly Spanish-led personnel recovery exercise, and Exercise Wakri 2023, a French exercise designed to reinforce combat capabilities and partner interoperability.

    “These joint training exercises included ranges using U.S. military and partner weaponry, combatives training, tactical combat casualty care, and the exercising of joint movement and and tactical combat operations,” Shawley said.

    Task Force Wolfhound Soldiers also completed the French Desert Commando Course, while 15 Soldiers became United States Citizens during a special ceremony held at the U.S embassy in Djibouti.

    The task force also conducted a Best Warrior Competition open to members of all services in April.

    During the unit’s final days in the Horn of Africa, many of the unit’s members received military awards in recognition of their hard work and dedication during the deployment.

    “I’m proud to have served with each and every one of you,” said Tabankin. “You deserve these accolades, and all those surely to come, as well as a safe and speedy return home.”

    The task force’s Soldiers have been returning to Fort Bliss, Texas for demobilization and will begin returning home to New York in the coming days.



    Date Taken: 06.06.2023
    Date Posted: 06.06.2023 10:48
    Story ID: 446317
    Location: DJ
    Hometown: GLOVERSVILLE, NY, US
    Hometown: NEW YORK, NY, US
    Hometown: NIAGARA FALLS, NY, US
    Hometown: UTICA, NY, US

    Web Views: 391
    Downloads: 0