May 20, 2024


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Commander of the United States Africa Command Visits Rwanda

Photo: Courtesy:  Village Urugwiro

KIGALI (May 19) — U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command is visiting Rwanda to participate in the National Security Symposium in Kigali. 

During the visit, General Townsend met with President Paul Kagame to highlight the United States and Rwanda’s cooperative efforts in support of regional peace and security. 

General Townsend also plans to meet with the Minister of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff of the Rwanda Defence Force. 

He will deliver remarks at the National Security Symposium and pay his respects at the Kigali Genocide Memorial. 

General Townsend is committed to a collaborative relationship with Rwanda and looks forward to more partnership opportunities in the future.

He pays his respects to the victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi at Kigali Genocide Memorial.  Photo Courtesy:  U.S. Embassy
Photo: Courtesy:  Village Urugwiro
Photo: Courtesy:  Village Urugwiro

ABOUT U.S. Army General Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command

General Stephen J. Townsend, U.S. Army, became the fifth Commander of United States Africa Command in July 2019.  Headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, U.S. AFRICOM is one of six joint service geographic combatant commands and is responsible for all U.S. military operations and activities to protect and advance U.S. national interests in Africa.

General Townsend’s previous assignment was commanding U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command where he oversaw all recruitment, training and education for America’s Army.

From Griffin, Georgia, General Townsend commissioned as an Army infantry officer upon graduation from North Georgia College in 1982. He has led and commanded troops at every echelon from rifle platoon to infantry division and Army corps as well as two combined/joint task forces.

General Townsend’s operational experience includes Operation Urgent Fury, Grenada; Operation Just Cause, Panama; Operation Uphold Democracy, Haiti; Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan; Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq. In 2016-17, he led the multinational effort to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.

His career includes service with four Army divisions, the 82d Airborne, 7th Light Infantry, 101st Air Assault and the 10th Mountain; the 75th Ranger Regiment; the separate 3d Stryker Brigade, 2d Infantry Division; as well as command of the XVIII Airborne Corps.  His past joint assignments include U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, U.S. Central Command, the Joint Staff, Regional Command-East in Afghanistan and Combined/Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. 

General Townsend holds two master’s degrees and military qualifications and awards appropriate to his service as a career infantry officer.

General Townsend is married to Melissa, also from Georgia. They have two married sons, one an Army Captain, the other an Army veteran and university student. The Townsends happily spoil three grandchildren and a large and unruly Bernese Mountain dog.

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