U.S. Army Africa (USARAF): 17 Cool Facts

Being the second largest continent on Earth, Africa has its share of issues. In an effort to help keep control and manage United States interests in that area of the world, we have U.S. Army Africa (USARAF).

Many will say that the United Nations forces should manage this shaky area, but our nation cannot depend on forces with other intentions to protect our interests when other country’s interests may be in direct opposition.

U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) Facts

In today’s post, I am going to share 17 cool facts about U.S. Army Africa.

Scroll down and learn something you may not know.


There will be a deeper explanation as you scroll into the next fact, but U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) is also known as SETAF (Southern European Task Force).

2: USARAF and SETAF History

In 1955, SETAF was established when the United States and Italy formed an agreement. The Southern European Task Force headquarters were in Verona, Italy. In many ways, SETAF was essentially the “National Guard” of that region. There were many things associated with SETAF:

  • In 1959, Italian military personnel were assigned to SETAF with Army personnel.

  • In 1963, SETAF was first on the scene of a major Italian landslide.

  • And, in 1965, SETAF’s headquarters was moved to Caserma Ederle, Italy.

  • In 1972, the SETAF command took control of Army artillery groups in Greece and Turkey.

  • In 1990, SETAF took on regional tactical operations in command and control for both Army and joint military units.

  • Plus, in 1991, a SETAF unit deployed to Iraq to provide humanitarian relief.

  • In 1994, several SETAF units deployed to Uganda to assist with the Rwanda refugee crisis.

  • 1995 and 96 were busy years for SETAF. They deployed to Bosnia, Croatia, Liberia and Uganda.

  • In 1997, SETAF sent units to the Congo and also Zaire.

  • Being an Airborne command, in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom, elements jumped to Bashur Airfield.

  • Also in 2003, elements of SETAF deployed again to Liberia for humanitarian reasons.

  • In 2007, SETAF units deployed to Afghanistan. They also had deployments to Romania and Bulgaria, along with Georgia.

In late 2008, SETAF changed drastically. Airborne tabs and Airborne berets were removed. SETAF would no longer be considered an Airborne command. This is when USARAF was established and SETAF became USARAF.

3: Service Component

USARAF is a service component command for United States Africa Command.

4: Headquarters

The headquarters for U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) is at Caserma Ederle, Italy just a few miles from Vicenza.

5: Mission

Taken directly from the USARAF website, their mission reads as follows:

USARAF/SETAF employs Army forces as partners, builds sustainable capacity, and supports the joint force in order to disrupt transnational threats and promote regional stability in Africa.”

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ACOTA stands for African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance. This is a State Department program that utilizes USARAF to train multiple battalions of peacekeepers from selected African military units.


ADAPT stands for Africa Deployment Assistance Partnership Training. This is essentially the logistical side of the ACOTA training. It is also a State Department program.


TCT stands for Traveling Contact Team. This is a 5 day program where an Army team participates with other partner nation’s military in non-training events.


FAM stands for familiarization. This is when a partner nation sends personnel to American military activities to become familiar with aspects of the U.S. Army.

10: ALFS

ALFS stands for African Land Forces Summit. African nations send their military Chiefs of Staff to meet with USARAF leaders to discuss Africa security concerns.

11: SPP

SPP stands for State Partnership Program. This is a National Guard program that helps build abilities of combat commanders by partnering with States and partner nations.

12: CULP

CULP means Culture and Language Program. This is a U.S. Army Cadet Command Program. It is meant for training of cadets by deploying to a partner nation.

13: USARAF Leadership

The leadership for USARAF consists of:

  • Commander – Major General Joseph Harrington

  • Deputy Commander – Brigadier General Jon Jensen

  • Deputy Commander – Brigadier General Kenneth Moore Jr.

  • Command Sergeant Major – CSM Christopher Gilpin

  • Chief of Staff – Colonel Louis Rago II

14: USARAF on Twitter

You can follow the tweets of the USARAF.

15: USARAF on Flickr

See the various pictures posted by members of the USARAF team.

16: USARAF on Facebook

Follow the USARAF on Facebook.

17: USARAF on Vimeo

If you want to see USARAF videos, just follow them on Vimeo.

Just search USARAF on any of the above social sites.

Final Thoughts

It is a good thing that we have people and equipment in place to help the people of Africa. With so much chaos happening around the world, Africa is a prime spot for an explosive mess to begin.

Have any of you served in Africa?

What are your thoughts? Just leave any comments and questions below. Thank you.


  1. United States Army Africa on Wikipedia
  2. United States Army Africa (USARAF) Southern European Task Force (SETAF)
  3. https://usarmyafrica.wordpress.com/

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)
Publisher, Part-Time-Commander.com
Email: mrchuckholmes@gmail.com

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