A U.S. service member died in a non-combat related incident in Djibouti Thursday, according to a release from Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA).
Additional details on the circumstances surrounding the death were not released. Further information will be released as appropriate and the cause of death is under investigation, said the release.
The identity of the deceased is being withheld pending next of kin notification.
This the second U.S. military casualty in a non-combat related incident in a foreign base this week. On Feb. 12, a U.S. Army soldier died at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from ‘a non-combat related incident’. This incident is currently under investigation.
The Naval Expeditionary Base Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti is the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa. The camp is operated by U.S. Navy Region Europe, Africa, Southwest Asia and is the home of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) of the U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM). The base reportedly hosts about 4,000 U.S. personnel with around 2,000 assigned to CJTF-HOA.
Djibouti is strategically located by the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, which separates the Gulf of Aden from the Red Sea and controls the approaches to the Suez Canal. As a result, the country hosts many other foreign military bases, including a Chinese naval base, a French airbase, and a Japanese base.