AFRICOM Base In Tan-Tan , Morocco Confirmed

 AFRICOM has officially assumed all the duties and responsibilities of a full-fledged geographic unified command by taking over from EUCOM and CENTCOM all DoD operations pertaining to 53 African nations except for Egypt which will remain a CENTCOM area of operation. Negotiations, which were kept secret to mitigate regional political sensitivities, namely of Algeria and Libya, between the Moroccan government and AFRICOM  Commanding General, General William E. Ward, to secure a location in Cap Draa in the Tan Tan region have been ongoing.  Cap Draa as a host to AFRICOM has finally been confirmed by reliable US sources. This confirmation was reported this week by a number of international and national media outlets. The base in Cap Draa will be operational in 2011. The project to establish AFRICOM headquarters in Morocco, namely in the outskirts of Tan Tan, was not canceled; it became surreptitious. Morocco is still willing to host AFRICOM and the U.S. is serious in its consideration of Morocco, if not as a full-fledged home to the African command, as a regional command to a portion of the African area of operation (AO).

Seabees and Red Horse squadron personnel, highly mobile civil engineering response forces supporting, respectively, the US Navy and Marine Corps and the US Air Force contingency and special operations worldwide, have been deploying to the Tan Tan area to build the infrastructure for the base AFRICOM will be using.

I remain skeptical that AFRICOM will use the base as a headquarters. AFRICOM headquarters will remain in Stuttgart, Germany as I’ve stated in a previous article. Cap Draa will most likely house a minimally manned forward Command and Control (C2) element as well as a logistical base for the pre-positioning of War Reserve Materiel (WRM), i.e. bare base systems, medical, munitions, fuels mobility support equipment, vehicles, rations, aerospace ground equipment, air base operability equipment and associated spares and other consumables. The base will coordinate with and provide support to Marine Air/Ground Task Force (MAGTF) elements, US Navy combat ships, US Army Special Operations units, US Air Force Logistical fleet, and National Guard forces. Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU), US Air Force fighter jets, and Army Operational Detachment Alphas will, thus, be able to use the Moroccan Sahara as year-round training grounds. Their programs will include a training package for the Moroccan military, one of which is the African Lion reiteration.

Morocco’s strategic decision to sponsor a US base in Tan Tan will move any future talks on the disputed Sahara into a more intensive and substantive phase. Algeria and its proxy army, polisario, have clearly lost the initiative. Morocco stands to benefit from the US presence on its territory in a number of other ways. In the article I mentioned earlier, I stated the following:  

The benefits to be accrued by the Moroccan government outweigh the risks. Militarily, Morocco will have added access to U.S. military provision programs allowing it to upgrade its military hardware. Under the auspices of the Foreign Military Training Programs, its military personnel will benefit from the advanced training courses U.S. military schools and academies offer; the U.S. DoD will also provide funding to refurbish Moroccan military bases, ports, and airfields. The Moroccan coast guard will gain the assistance of the U.S. navy in its interdiction operations in the Strait of Gibraltar and along its Atlantic shores. The government’s offensive against Islamic extremist cells will also stand to benefit from U.S. intelligence capabilities and U.S. funds set specifically for anti-terrorism operations in Africa. Other agencies, such as U.S.AID, governed by the U.S. Department of State will be involved, providing a much needed boost to social and economic reforms. Overall, the establishment of AFRICOM in Morocco will stabilize the region and foster an environment friendly to foreign investment and conducive to economic growth.

Other US bases are been established throughout the continent. The strategic intent of the Pentagon’s military planners is for AFRICOM to increase its footprint in the continent and to lay the ground for a rapid and long-term access to troubled areas and specifically oil producing regions.

A. T. B. Copyright © 2008

Comments (17)  

0 #1 COMMENT_TITLE_R E AFRICOM Base In Tan-Tan , Morocco Confirmedhmimarmad 2008-10-06 16:15
The way I see it is that Morocco has no oil and Algeria is getting richer selling oil and with the income from the sale, Algeria buys weapons in the hope of dominating the Maghreb region.
Morocco has no choice but to align itself with the US. After all, the US considers the autonomy plan serious and credible. The Russian can never state the same or they will lose a customer in Algeria. The Chinese as usual, they will tell you what you like to hear to sell you their products. Who am I to blame anyone? they all do what's good for them and Morocco should do the same thing if not more. I say please, bring Africom and bring it FAST. As for the Algerian Generals, I say, you have tried for 33 years in vain. Let us embrace each other, let us be one. Grow up and Give it up!
Good day!
George Mitchell
-3 #2 COMMENT_TITLE_R E AFRICOM Base In Tan-Tan , Morocco ConfirmedGeorge Mitchell 2008-10-07 05:28
Russia and China have bases all over Africa that is way AFI was done. It´s not just for terrorism but for a lot more. Just tell you that Africa has a good wealth but countries of the Arab world don´t want bases since the first war in Iraq.
jalal nali
-1 #3 totaly rightjalal nali 2008-10-07 06:57
I agree totaly with my gouvernment to host the Afrciom in morocco. It is a prolongation of our old friendship treaty since 1777, Morocco benefits from the respect of many other African nation, and Morocco has already helped establish peace and keep the peace in the continent, so welkom Africom to morocco, US military bases in Morocco are not new
morocco already hosts a US military base!
Morocco made the choice to host the American friends.
Morocco is an independent country, it decides to host whoever it wants.
-2 #4 Not in MoroccoAlex 2008-10-07 11:44
As much as many would like to see the US return to military bases in Morocco after about 35 years of having left, that isn't likely to happen with AFRICOM anytime in the near future (and certainly not in Tan Tan). Sorry!
0 #5 Morocco is OK!Abdullah 2008-11-06 02:21
I spent four years at a US Navy Base in Morocco and can attest that Morrocans are our only true friends in Africa. It is the logical place for an Africa Command. Now that OBAMA is President, he can make this a reality. I would love to see that happen.
fouad lghzaoui
-1 #6 COMMENT_TITLE_R E AFRICOM Base In Tan-Tan , Morocco Confirmedfouad lghzaoui 2008-12-16 11:02
Morocco, it's the right answer to any command in Africa.Why?
Morocco is friendly ally to us, fight the same fight like us against terrorism, and Islamic fundamentalism. The US will find a good interlocuteur in Morrocan gvt, and leaders. Also, to make a stop to the nonsense fabricated war byAlgeria for over 25 years, to initiate the Maghreb Union...Africom will have a lot of advantages to both the US and Morocco. That's why I support the idea.
0 #7 we support this initiativeabdellah 2009-01-29 23:18
We support this initiative is a strong point for Morocco, for the demonstration of the Algerian Army for 50 billion dollars of armaments ever seen.
John doe
-1 #8 COMMENT_TITLE_R E AFRICOM Base In Tan-Tan , Morocco ConfirmedJohn doe 2009-02-04 16:18
I'm from Morocco,and I'm serving in the us army active duty.
Us and Morocco are great countries,and I hope they will both benefit from it.
f. Lghzaoui
-2 #9 Analyst/anthrop .f. Lghzaoui 2009-02-20 16:23
To everybody who is interested in Africom program:
Take it from me, the program will not end up in Morocco, even though we hope so, the US gov./Pentagon haven't decided on the location of the program in Africa, due to the position of the African givts vis a vis their people about having US Military installation permanently in the Continent..For now, the Africom will stay in Sttutgart, Germany. This is official.....
-1 #10 USA longest allie MOROCCOmaykel 2009-04-01 12:49
its abvious they going to keep the africom in morocco.. morocco was the first country in the world before england to recognize the states did you guys know that? morocco and the states are allies for verry long and have strong relationships!! they got my support gretings from holland
a moroccan
-1 #11 yea !a moroccan 2010-01-22 08:20
waiting for this base :-) !! it's really a good thing for morocco, and a stratigic country for usa, !!
-1 #12 good dealBOUI 2010-01-26 04:46
morocco is strategic location for the USA to protect the east cost since algeria opening it doors to russian and chinese military personnels on there grounds looks like the cold war had started again there for the USA needs to be present in the area the threat it's not sow much russia but the last few years chinese weapons are been mobilized in many african country's makes you wonder if one day they will collect all of them against a single aim as we all know no country in africa is a threat to china there for think twice.morocco is the entry to U.S east cost from the atlantic the west cost it's easy to penetrate by china including alaska it will be very smart move for the U.S to mobilize it self in morocco and don't forget cuba can give base to china but U.S troops in morocco cuba will not be a threat few missiles from morocco the threat will be solved.
-1 #13 Us military from moroccoHelenmaria 2010-05-25 23:56
This is happening right now!! Im gald that morocco and usa can get along to biuld a base in my home country! We are moroccan and americans, should be proud that there will be a Military Base in Morocco. Morocco might be Islam, But we are Not like middle east. We also stand for what america believes in.. reason why we have to answer to african countries do to fact, There are so really bad ones. There can be alot of problems with morocco in long long, But USA will not aloud to happe. I support both and all countries are welling to be our friends!! Help us build a better world make it alot more safe!! always Moroccan Devil Dog
morito con 2 kinder
0 #14 sinmorito con 2 kinder 2011-01-19 23:30
maruecos pyede hacer lo q le sale de sus mismisimos huevos,y los españoles tuienen q saber q lo de tener un maruecos antiguo y retrasado ya es historia,q tenga en cuenta todo el mundo q un maruecos con la base africom o sin ella naduie le puede tocar lo q es suyo,asi q los q buscan puertos en el atlantico o milicias amigas en la harina,q sepan q lo suyo es preocuparse de sus fronteras y de sus problemas internos pq maruecos somos muchisimo q todo el arsenal q tengan algunos,pq nosotros creemos en nuestra causa,y el sahara era marroqui,es marroqui y lo sera pa siempre,q no nos toquen muxo las pelotas pq de momento no hemos mirado hacia ceuta y melilla,y a los argelinos les digo q les basta con lo q tienen dentro,y el dia q botaflika habra las fronteras terrestres con maruecos se le escaparan mas de 10 millones de sus ciudadanos hacia el pais de gran corazon,viva maruecos y sus amigos españoles y argelinos,y q se jodan los cortitos q siguen viviento la epoca colonial en sus mentes
-1 #15 American soldiers and Morocco Moroccan 2011-06-03 02:47
I was in Tantan This year and watched how are the trainig going on and what kind of experience should Moroccan Soldies get and improve their experiences .ways of fighting and sametime it helps The American young soldiers to use this as their first challenge to some countries .During this visit i knew so many things ,and I liked something so much

When the americans finnish their training , they raise everything like rubbish and keep the land clean , like cartons and etc, an open people to Moroccan sametime
both help each others in many things , I want to mention Morocco and USA are and will remain good friends as they used to , as Moroccan welcome all people from different parts of the world .
-1 #16 job/in tantanjacob 2013-01-06 05:03
Morocco’s strategic decision to sponsor a US base in Tan Tan /i was wondering if you could direct me in the right direction here? i am looking for a position here in tan tan ? it seems i cannot fine the right link. i was a 19k in the army m1a1 tanker and looking for job in base in tan tan would be able to forward to the right point of contact. i am living in morocco now
-1 #17 officerADAM MANKI 2013-02-04 07:43
we need an american military base in morocco to show the world that we are helping the west in their war against terrorists.

Add comment

While Morocco News Board encourages discussion on all subjects, including sensitive ones, the comments posted are solely the views of those submitting them. does not necessarily endorse or agree with the ideas, views, or opinions voiced in these comments. This is a moderated forum. Comments deemed abusive, offensive, or those containing profanity may not be published. Please Read Site's Terms of Use

To post Video, images and links please use appropriate button

Security code

Additional information

Copyright © 2007 - 2012 Morocco News Board, The News Source for Moroccan Affairs. | Washington, DC | Email: | Phone: (703) 623-8421 | MoroccoBoard News Service | All Rights Reserved.