President Biden has nominated Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Michael Langley to command all U.S. forces in Africa, a selection that, if confirmed, would make him the primary Black four-star common within the service’s historical past, the Pentagon revealed Thursday.
Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin introduced the nomination choice on Langley, who has served as head of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Command and Marine Corps Forces North in addition to commanding common of Fleet Marine Power Atlantic since November 2021.
If confirmed by the Senate, he would lead U.S. Africa Command, headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany and tasked with all U.S. navy operations on the African continent.
The continent is presently experiencing a rash of financial and safety pursuits from China and Russia — the latter controlling the non-public navy firm Wagner Group, whose mercenaries function in Libya and the Central African Republic.
Africa additionally struggles with terrorism and violence within the Sahel area, and navy coups in Chad, Mali, Guinea, Sudan and Burkina Faso.
Langley would take over for present Africom chief Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, who has headed the command since July 2019.
Commissioned in 1985, he has commanded at each stage from platoon to regiment and has deployed to Japan, Afghanistan and Somalia, the latter the place Biden lately determined to return as much as 500 troops for counterterrorism operations.
Langley has additionally labored on the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command, the navy arm which oversees American forces within the Center East, based on his Marine Corps biography.
In Might, The New York Occasions first reported on Langley’s impending nomination, with former Protection Secretary James Matties praising him, telling the paper: “He’s a Marine’s Marine.”
The Marines have an advanced historical past with Black Individuals. The service was the final navy arm to confess Black troops when it did in 1942.
Since then, fewer than 30 people have reached the rank of common in any kind, with none making it to the four-star rank, based on the Occasions.