Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti - Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus arrived in Djibouti July 31 to meet with Sailors and Marines stationed at Camp Lemonnier, including those assigned to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA).
During an all-hands call, Mabus praised the assembled Sailors and Marines for their role in enhancing the United States' relationship with Djibouti.
"Building partner capacity is one of the most important things we do," said Mabus. "The National Defense Strategy calls for us to focus on building partnerships around the world and that is what you are doing here."
Mabus also thanked those attending the all-hands call for their part in helping the Navy and Marine Corps maintain a global presence.
"You are America's away team. When you're doing your job, you are a long way from home," he said. "What the Navy and Marine Corps uniquely give our country is presence and that is what you give us here at this base...the ability to be in the right place, all the time, in this crucial part of the world."
Mabus went on to discuss the impact Camp Lemonnier has on security in the Horn of Africa and around the world.
"This has always been an important base," he said, "but it is becoming even more so due to emerging threats. The fact that you are standing the watch, that you are here 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, means that America is more secure."
"The greatest honor of my life," he continued, "is leading the United States Navy and Marine Corps."
After thanking the Sailors and Marines on hand for their service, Mabus fielded several questions before taking the time to pose for photos with those in the audience.
Mabus is in the region to meet with Sailors and Marines, and civilians and military officials, as part of a multi-nation visit to the U.S. Pacific and Africa Command areas of responsibility.