U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Michael Langley assumed command of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) during a ceremony in Stuttgart, Germany, Tuesday, August 9, 2022.
“It is truly an honor to stand before you as the new AFRICOM commander,” Langley said at the ceremony.
“I look forward to taking on the mantle of leading these talented professionals here at AFRICOM and across our components as we work shoulder-to-shoulder with our allies and partners to advance peace and prosperity for both Africa and the American homeland.”
The sixty-year-old thus became the sixth commander of AFRICOM since the creation of the command in 2008.
During his remarks, he also thanked the outgoing commander, General Stephen Townsend, who has served as leader of U.S. Africa Command since July 2019, for his dedicated leadership over the past three years, and highlighted the vital work the command is doing in Africa.
“The continent is on the front lines of many of this century’s most pressing threats from mass migration to food insecurity, from COVID-19 to the climate crisis, from the drumbeat of autocracy to the dangers of terrorism,” he said.
His predecessor, Townsend, is retiring after a four-decade career in the United States Army.
Townsend recently made multi-day official visits to West Africa. He was in Ghana, Benin, Ivory Coast and Togo in September 2021.
AFRICOM is one of the United States Department of Defense’s seven geographic combatant commands. The command is responsible for all U.S. military operations, exercises, security cooperation, and conducts crisis response on the African continent to advance U.S. interests and promote regional security, stability, and prosperity.