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Eritrea, long-time player in war on terrorism

by 2nd Lt. Erin Dorrance
6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs

Once owned by Ethiopia, Eritrea became a nation in May of 1993 after years of a violent civil war. The country, the size of Pennsylvania, is not a newcomer to the war on terrorism.

"The war on terrorism is a war my country has faced for the last 11 years," said Eritrean Army Brig. Gen. Kessetebrhan Ghebrehiwot, Eritrean Chief Liaison Officer at OEF Coalition Village. "Our neighboring countries are a haven for terrorists. We were proud to join the coalition and fight the war on terrorism as a global unit."

Eritrea's force at OEF's Coalition Village currently has two representatives, General Ghebrehiwot and Navy Commander Berhane T.T. Tesfamichael. Eritrea's military of nearly 50,000 consists of an Army, Navy and 12-year-old Air Force.

"The coalition mission is very important and although our military is busy at home, Eritrea is ready to do its share to help," said General Ghebrehiwot.

Eritrea has granted all coalition forces open airspace and porting and basing rights. Although the Eritrean coalition members are busy at their job, they have thoroughly enjoyed MacDill.

"We enjoy the facilities on base," said General Ghebrehiwot. "MacDill is a very comfortable base because it has everything you need, you never really have to leave."

Eritrea continues to help the United States and 52 other nations fight the war on terrorism, a war that has shaped Eritrea's history and existence as an independent nation.




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