A Different Kind of War

A unit of the Tennessee Army National Guard is heading to the Horn of Africa.

The unit of 13 soldiers will head to Djibouti and possibly other areas to drill for water in a remote regions of the Horn, said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Lyon. A guard member for almost 30 years, Lyon also is the detachment commander, the units’s highest-ranking member. The date for deployment to the Horn has not yet been determined, he said.

The U.S. military has been engaged in the Horn of Africa since 2002, using about 1,500 troops to build schools and medical clinics, dig wells, treat sick people and inoculate livestock.

The unorthodox military operation looks more like the Peace Corps than the Marine Corps, but the effort is primarily to assist in “enhancing counter-terrorism capabilities” and to deter al-Qaida and Muslim extremists from spreading throughout a region rife with poverty and despair.

A former goalie on Stanford’s soccer team, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Wendy Halsey had relatives and former teammates send her soccer balls to distribute at Djiboutian schools. Photo by CHRIS TYREE / THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT/ 2008 Virginia News Photographer of the Year.
Members of an Army Reserve unit from Montgomery, Ala., fix a well in a tiny village in November 2006. The well’s chain had been rusted through by corrosive water, rendering the pump useless for several months. Photo from CHRIS TYREE / THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT/ 2008 Virginia News Photographer of the Year.

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One thought on “A Different Kind of War

  1. Pingback: Preventing Premption : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

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