Small Wars Journal

AFRICOM Commander: My Top Fear is Another Deadly Attack Like Manda Bay

Thu, 01/30/2020 - 1:15pm

AFRICOM Commander: My Top Fear is Another Deadly Attack Like Manda Bay by Diana Stancy Correll - Military Times

Army Gen. Stephen Townsend’s number one concern as the commander of U.S. Africa Command is that another deadly attack like the one in Manda Bay, Kenya, will occur on his watch.

That’s why AFRICOM is now examining the security at Manda Bay, and of other U.S. installations throughout the entire continent.

On Jan. 5, al-Shabab militants attacked U.S. and Kenyan forces in Manda Bay Airfield, an attack which led to the deaths of Army Spc. Henry Mayfield Jr., 23, and two U.S. Department of Defense contractors, Dustin Harrison, 47, and Bruce Triplett, 64.

“I think it’s self-obvious we were not as prepared there at Manda Bay as we needed to be,” Townsend told lawmakers on the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. “Al-Shabab managed to penetrate onto that airfield...They were able to get access to that airfield, kill three Americans, and destroy six aircraft there. So we weren’t as prepared, and we’re digging into that to find out why that’s the case.”

The command has launched a senior-leader-led investigation examining the circumstances surrounding the attack, and Townsend said approximately 120 infantrymen are now working to secure the area and install proper measures of defense…

Read on.