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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

German Navy Detachment Donates Vehicles

May 23, 2007
By U.S. Army Capt. Jerord E. Wilson
Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa

DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti - Though their unit may be low in numbers, the men and women of the German Naval Logistics Detachment are large in impact.

The German Naval Logistics Detachment in Djibouti supports many missions to the Djiboutian government and, in working with Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa, integrates their capabilities to support the Global War on Terror.

“All vehicles being donated will be thoroughly inspected before being turned over to the local government”, said Commander Otto. The inspection will be carried out by the German Advisory Group who works here in Djibouti to assist the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Each German unit, that is stationed here, finds it a source of personal pride to help improve the quality of life for the Djiboutian people. One of the many tasks for the German advisory group is to assist in the training of the Djibouti Police to maintain cars and develop a radio network throughout Djibouti. The detachment also is equipped to provide water purification and decompression chamber services to coalition members located in the Djibouti region. Additionally, the unit provides logistic support to the German Navy in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and acts as a liaison between the local government and forces located in Djibouti.

Another capability brought by the German detachment is a state of the art water purification system. The water purification system or ‘Water Buffalo”, provides a huge advantage to any unit located in areas where water must be purified before consumption. This particular water buffalo can produce up to 400 gallons of potable water every hour. Its mobility via air and land means that it can be taken to any water source, sea water or ground water, and convert undrinkable water into fresh water via a mono-filtration system.

Having a Naval coalition force in this region is very important to the overall capabilities of the forces assigned to OEF, said Commander Otto. A rarely used, but extremely important support capability, is a Navy diver on call 24 hours a day if needed for deep-sea search and rescue operations. The German detachment has a portable decompression chamber with an operator on call when needed. The chamber is available to anyone within the coalition for any diving-related emergency. It’s large enough to support one patient, one doctor, one assistant, and one operator.

In addition to emergency medical support to coalition forces, the German detachment provides morale opportunities for personnel rotating through the Port of Djibouti. The men and women assigned to the German detachment usually spend three to four months in Djibouti. This is time spent away from their families and homes as part of OEF. The ships docking at the pier in Djibouti stop to refit have only a few comforts before going back out to sea. So, morale services such as internet and phone connections are located at the pier to help families stay in contact during long deployments.

The German Naval Detachment has accomplished many great deeds in support of the coalition forces assigned to OEF and the country of Djibouti. The continued support towards the Djiboutian government demonstrates their support to the peoples of Djibouti and support in helping to build a stable economic structure for the future.

The mission of CJTF-HOA is to prevent conflict, promote regional stability and protect coalition interests in order to prevail against extremism. The CJTF-HOA organization began operations at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti May 13, 2003. It works with partner nations on humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, consequence management, civic action programs to include medical and veterinary care, school and medical clinic construction and water development projects.

Photo - German Navy Logistic Detachment Cmdr. Hans-Jörg W. Otto and U.S. Navy Capt. Robert P. Wright, Director of Communications for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, tours the hyperbaric chamber with members of the Strategic Communications staff. Official U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Clinton C. Beaird.

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