European Centre for Counterterrorism and Intelligence Studies-Germany and Netherlands
U.S. Africa Command has been ordered to make plans to move out of its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, its commander announced in an early morning media release.
“U.S. Africa Command has been told to plan to move,” AFRICOM commander Army Gen. Stephen Townsend said in the release. “While it will likely take several months to develop options, consider locations, and come to a decision, the command has started the process. We will ensure we continue to support our host nation and African partners and our families and forces throughout.”
It’s the latest move by President Donald Trump to pull U.S. troops and resources from a key European ally. On July 29, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that nearly 12,000 U.S. troops will pull out of Germany as soon as is feasible. There are currently 36,000 there. As part of that plan, Esper announced that two headquarters elements — U.S. European Command and Special Operations Command Europe — would out of Stuttgart to Mons, Belgium, according to U.S. European Command boss Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters.
At the July 29 press conference announcing those decisions, it was hinted that AFRICOM could move out of Germany as well. Early this morning, Townsend confirmed he has been ordered to make plans to do so. The command could move elsewhere in Europe or even to America.
“In response to the President’s direction, efforts are now underway to develop plans and options to relocate AFRICOM headquarters and forces from Germany,” according to the release. “The command will look first at options elsewhere in Europe, but also will consider options in the United States.”