US service member killed in non-combat incident in Africa

US service member killed in non-combat incident in Africa
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A U.S. service member was killed in a noncombat incident in the Horn of Africa, U.S. Africa Command said in a statement Friday.

The service member died Thursday in a “non-combat related incident in Djibouti,” where the military’s largest and only permanent outpost on the continent is located.

The statement did not reveal the identity of the service member pending next of kin notification, per Defense Department policy.

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Africa Command also did not provide further details, and the cause of death is under investigation.

Roughly 6,000 U.S. military personnel are currently in Africa, the majority of them based at Camp Lemonnier, a Naval Expeditionary Base in Djibouti. The base is home to Combined Joint Task Force — Horn of Africa.

Also in Africa are several hundred American service members deployed in Somalia, Niger, Chad and Mali, who are there to train and assist security forces to contain Islamic extremist groups including Boko Haram and those that pledge loyalty to ISIS and al Qaeda.

However, the size and scope of the U.S. military’s mission on the continent may change as Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperDefense industrial base workers belong at home during this public health crisis An insecure America and an assertive China Overnight Defense: Pentagon grapples with coronavirus outbreak | Aircraft carrier docks in Guam after more sailors test positive | Army hospitals to reach NY on Friday MORE has for several months been considering a major reduction of troops from West Africa in order to shift forces and focus to better counter Russian and Chinese aggression.