Washington: Marines’ first black four-star general, Michael Langley, became the new chief of US Africa Command (AFRICOM) at a ceremony in Stuttgart on Tuesday.
“Langley becomes the sixth US Africa Command commander since the command was established in 2008,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who presided over the ceremony, highlighted the important role AFRICOM plays in strengthening security in the region.
“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,” Austin said.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley thanked outgoing AFRICOM commander Army, Gen. Stephen Townsend, for his service and expressed confidence that Langley is the “leader at the right place”.
“He has the unique blend of character, competence, courage, experiences, and knowledge to lead AFRICOM in this challenging time,” Milley said.
Langley was commissioned in 1985 and initially served as an artillery officer.
As a general officer, he served as the deputy commanding general for IIMarine Expeditionary Force; commanding general for 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade; commander for Marine Forces Europe and Africa; deputy commanding general for Fleet Marine Force Atlantic; and deputy commander for Marine Forces Command and Marine Forces Northern Command.