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US Special Operations Command Africa Gets New Commanding Officer

United States Navy Rear Adm. Milton J. Sands III has assumed leadership of the special operations command, responsible for joint special operations conducted in support of AFRICOM.

Milton J. Sands III, a United States Navy Rear Adm. and Navy Seal, takes over the command of the U.S. Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA), a component of the country’s counter-terrorism operations in the continent. 

SOCAFRICA,  which is under the operational control of United States Africa Command, with headquarters in Kelley Barracks, Stuttgart-Möhringen, Germany conducts Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions and counter-terrorism operations.

Others include strengthening the capabilities of African partner forces and protecting U.S. lives and interests.

SOCAFRICA also incorporates the Special Operations Task Force East Africa, Joint Special Operations Task Force – Somalia, Special Operations Task Force North West Africa, Joint Special Operations Air Component Africa, Naval Special Warfare Unit Ten, and a Signal Detachment. 


In early July, commander of AFRICOM, U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend officiated the handing over of leadership from U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Dagvin R. M. Anderson to Navy Rear Adm Milton J. Sands III.

Rear Adm. Sand previously served as commander of Naval Service Training Command (NSTC).


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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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