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What US Soldiers Built In Djibouti

05/06/2012

Amid the stony, unforgiving terrain of Djibouti, U.S. service members have been working with villagers of the Tadjourah region to build a “beacon for the community to rally around.”

Using cement, barbed wire, bags, and dirt, Soldiers from one of the Army’s civil affairs teams (CAT) assigned to the Horn of Africa taught villagers how to construct a building that can withstand harsh desert winds.

They fill donated burlap bags with the mixture team chief capt Justin Lev holds steady

They fill donated burlap bags with the mixture team chief Capt. Justin Lev holds steady

Residents of the Karabti San village expect that the building — called an “eco-dome” because of its shape and the materials used — will have a lasting impact on the community. There’s now the prospect government officials bringing them electricity, and they intend to use the structure as a school or clinic.

As the mixture hardens they stick barbed wire on top of each bag to grip it in place walls are formed

As the mixture hardens they stick barbed wire on top of each bag to grip it in place walls are formed

CAT team chief Capt. Justin Lev said villagers initially saw the eco-dome as an American project in their village, but now look at it as their own. That’s heartening for the U.S. mission of nation building in the Horn of Africa.

He carefully makes everything fit just right

He carefully makes everything fit just right

Funded by donations from civilian organizations, the $3000 eco-dome isn’t just a mud hut. Soldiers and villagers built the structure to have a primary and secondary unit as well as a loft.

The end result is a brand new school or clinic for the community and a job well done

The end result is a brand new school or clinic for the community and a job well done

“Teaching you something is better than giving you money,” said Kasim Ali, Karabti San village chief. “This [the eco-dome] is good and will last long. It is something good for the village.” Villagers will be able to build more themselves since the Army is leaving them with their tools, and the materials needed can be easily found in the remote area.
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Djibouti (Arabic: جيبوتي‎ Jībūtī, French: Djibouti, Somali: Jabuuti, Afar: Gabuuti), officially the Republic of Djibouti (Arabic: جمهورية جيبوتي‎ Jumhūriyyat Jībūtī, French: République de Djibouti, Afar: Gabuutih Ummuuno, Somali: Jamhuuriyadda Jabuuti), is a country in the Horn of Africa. It is bordered by Eritrea in the north, Ethiopia in the west and south, and Somalia in the southeast. The remainder of the border is formed by the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden at the east.
Djibouti, which had a population of 818,159 at the 2009 census, is one of the least populous countries in Africa.
Islam is the largest religion in the country, practiced by 94% of the population.
The land was known as Obock and French Somaliland (Côte française des Somalis) in the 19th century; in 1967, it changed its name to Afars and Issas after new treaties with France. The territory was declared an independent nation in 1977 and changed its name to the “Republic of Djibouti” after its principal city.
While Djibouti is an independent sovereign state, it maintains deep French relations, and through various military and economic agreements with France, it receives continued security and economic assistance.

In 2001, the Djiboutian government leased the former French military base Camp Lemonnier to the United States Central Command for operations related to Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). In 2009, Central Command transitioned responsibilities in Africa to AFRICOM.

France’s 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion is based in Djibouti, but not in Djibouti City.

In February 2011 protesters in Djibouti joined the Arab world protests, demanding that President Guelleh step down.

US Navy 070404-F-2269R-020 An HC-130P takes of...

US Navy 070404-F-2269R-020 An HC-130P takes off from Camp Lemonier in support of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa mission. CJTF-HOA is a unit of United States Central Command (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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