Coalition competition builds camaraderie in Djibouti

The silence is broken with the distinct cry of a horn cutting through the morning air. As if commanded by the sound, Djiboutian, French, Japanese and American Soldiers all leap from the starting line, sprinting across the arid desert. This dash across the Djiboutian desert was part of a rifle marksmanship competition held on Dec. 11, 2021, and hosted by Soldiers from B Company, 1-157th Infantry Regiment (Mountain), Task Force Iron Gray (TFIG), Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA).



By Spc. Gauret Stearns Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Djibouti Jan 12, 2022
View Gallery
fallback
Gallery contains 19 images

The silence is broken with the distinct cry of a horn cutting through the morning air. As if commanded by the sound, Djiboutian, French, Japanese and American Soldiers all leap from the starting line, sprinting across the arid desert.

This dash across the Djiboutian desert was part of a rifle marksmanship competition held on Dec. 11, 2021, and hosted by Soldiers from B Company, 1-157th Infantry Regiment (Mountain), Task Force Iron Gray (TFIG), Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA).

“We are doing this friendly competition between our forces to see who is the best shot,” said U.S. Army Capt. Stephen Buehler, company commander, B Company, 1-157th Infantry Regiment (Mountain), TFIG, CJTF-HOA. “The marksmanship competition is modeled on the Army’s 9-minute Match.”

The Army's 9-minute Match is a marksmanship competition. Each participant shoots a total of 20 rounds. Between each shot, the Soldier sprints 25 meters, picks up a single bullet, then runs 25 meters back and fires their rifle. The competition is grueling and demands shooters have at least 20 shots on a paper target 25 meters away. In total, the participants run a kilometer, and the winner is the person with the most shots on target.

“We ramped up the intensity,” Buehler added. “We increased the time to 13 and a half minutes and put everyone in full body armor.”

After the competition ended, the Soldiers all came together. They socialized and showed off rifles and other weapon systems used in their respective countries. For some, it was the first time they had seen another country's service rifle.

“It is really cool meeting these other armies from around the globe and finding out that we are all the same type of person,” said U.S. Army Spc. Tucker Grossman, infantryman, B Company, 1-157th Infantry Regiment (Mountain), TFIG, CJTF-HOA. “We are all young, motivated and have a common bond.”

The French had a large presence at this competition, having roughly equal troops to that of the Americans.

One French infantryman, a soldat de première classe, said that this was his first time working with U.S. Soldiers and he enjoyed the competition.

At the end of the competition, scores were calculated and the winner was decided. U.S. Army Sgt. Joshua Gregorcich came in first place, besting more than 70 Soldiers representing four nations.

This event is one of the last that TFIG will host in Djibouti. At the start of the new year, the battalion will return home and transfer authority to the incoming 1-116th Infantry Regiment from Virginia.

“Our intent as a task force is to continue to build relationships with our coalition partners; to pass that on to the unit that is replacing us and give them a solid foundation to work with,” Buehler said.

CJTF-HOA and joint partners collaborate regularly throughout East Africa. They are consistently training together, running exercises and refining their processes so their service members can operate in harmony.

More in Media Room
US Military tracks, fights pathogens in East Africa
COVID-19 reminded the world of the danger unknown pathogens can present to the world, as the disease swept across the globe, shutting down entire societies in the early days of the pandemic. For many of us, pathogens are not a common consideration, or at least not at the microscopic level. There are however a select few people and organizations dedicated to identifying, observing, and analyzing this very topic. Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Pavlicek, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. – 3 (NAMRU-3) director of the microbiology laboratory at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, is one of those people.
Read more
Combined, joint task force in Africa welcomes first female commanding general
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley assumed command of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Zana during a change of command ceremony May 14, 2022. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) presided.
Read more
Department of State and Defense officials meet for 2022 East African Security Forum
More than 50 US government interagency officials working in more than 10 countries throughout East Africa met together at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti for the 2022 East Africa Security Forum May 11, 2022. The forum provided a face-to-face platform for representatives with the U.S. State Department, Department of Defense, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Security Council. The discussions ranged from overarching long-term strategy to specific security threats in the region.
Read more
More in Media Room
US Military tracks, fights pathogens in East Africa
COVID-19 reminded the world of the danger unknown pathogens can present to the world, as the disease swept across the globe, shutting down entire societies in the early days of the pandemic. For many of us, pathogens are not a common consideration, or at least not at the microscopic level. There are however a select few people and organizations dedicated to identifying, observing, and analyzing this very topic. Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Pavlicek, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. – 3 (NAMRU-3) director of the microbiology laboratory at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, is one of those people.
Read more
Combined, joint task force in Africa welcomes first female commanding general
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley assumed command of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Zana during a change of command ceremony May 14, 2022. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) presided.
Read more
Department of State and Defense officials meet for 2022 East African Security Forum
More than 50 US government interagency officials working in more than 10 countries throughout East Africa met together at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti for the 2022 East Africa Security Forum May 11, 2022. The forum provided a face-to-face platform for representatives with the U.S. State Department, Department of Defense, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Security Council. The discussions ranged from overarching long-term strategy to specific security threats in the region.
Read more
More in Media Room
US Military tracks, fights pathogens in East Africa
COVID-19 reminded the world of the danger unknown pathogens can present to the world, as the disease swept across the globe, shutting down entire societies in the early days of the pandemic. For many of us, pathogens are not a common consideration, or at least not at the microscopic level. There are however a select few people and organizations dedicated to identifying, observing, and analyzing this very topic. Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Pavlicek, U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. – 3 (NAMRU-3) director of the microbiology laboratory at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, is one of those people.
Read more
Combined, joint task force in Africa welcomes first female commanding general
U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley assumed command of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa from U.S. Army Maj. Gen. William Zana during a change of command ceremony May 14, 2022. Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) presided.
Read more
Department of State and Defense officials meet for 2022 East African Security Forum
More than 50 US government interagency officials working in more than 10 countries throughout East Africa met together at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti for the 2022 East Africa Security Forum May 11, 2022. The forum provided a face-to-face platform for representatives with the U.S. State Department, Department of Defense, the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and the National Security Council. The discussions ranged from overarching long-term strategy to specific security threats in the region.
Read more