In the midst of worsening violence in the South Sudan, the Obama administration informed Congress Thursday evening that it deployed soldiers from the US Army’s East Africa Response Force to the capital of Juba to help evacuate American citizens and ensure the safety of embassy personnel there.
The 45 combat-ready soldiers are part of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division based in Fort Riley, Kansas. They are currently on a year-long deployment in the Army’s Regionally Aligned Forces program, which marries brigade combat teams with combatant commands around the world to thicken their ranks.
The AFRICOM command is the first to receive a brigade, and soldiers began deploying in April of this year. The soldiers who comprise the East Africa Response Force are based at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.