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 EsperOvernight Defense: Stopgap spending measure awaits Senate vote | Trump nominates former Nunes aide for intelligence community watchdog | Trump extends ban on racial discrimination training to contractors, military Overnight Defense: Pentagon redirects pandemic funding to defense contractors | US planning for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May | Anti-Trump GOP group puts ads in military papers Official: Pentagon has started 'prudent planning' for full Afghanistan withdrawal by May 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.