Adama Barrow is a Gambian politician and real estate developer, the third and current President of the Gambia, in office since 2017. Born in Mankamang Kunda, a village near Basse Santa Su, he attended Crab Island Secondary School and the Muslim High School, the latter on a scholarship, he worked for Alhagie Musa & Sons, a Gambian energy company, where he became a sales manager. Moving to London in the early 2000s, Barrow studied for qualifications in real estate and concurrently worked as a security guard. After returning to the Gambia in 2006, he founded Majum Real Estate, was its CEO until 2016, he became the treasurer of the United Democratic Party, an opposition party, became its leader in September 2016 after the previous leader was jailed. Barrow was chosen as the UDP candidate in the 2016 presidential election, it was announced that he would stand as an independent with the backing of the opposition group Coalition 2016. Barrow won the 2016 presidential election with 43.34% of the vote, defeating long-time incumbent Yahya Jammeh.
Jammeh accepted the result, but reneged on this, Barrow was forced to flee to neighbouring Senegal. He was inaugurated at the Gambian embassy in Senegal on 19 January 2017, Jammeh was forced to leave the Gambia and go into exile on 21 January. Barrow returned to the Gambia on 26 January. Barrow was born on 16 February 1965 in Mankamang Kunda, a small village near Basse Santa Su, two days before the Gambia achieved independence from the United Kingdom, he is the son of Kaddijatou Jallow. He attended the local Koba Kunda primary school, Crab Island Secondary School in Banjul, he received a scholarship to study at the Muslim High School. After leaving school, he worked for Alhagie Musa & Sons, a Gambian energy company, rose through the ranks to become a sales manager. In the early 2000s, he moved to London. Concurrently, he worked as a security guard at a local Argos store, he described these experiences as formative, saying "Life is a process, the UK helped me to become the person I am today. Working 15 hours a day builds a man."Barrow returned to the Gambia following his graduation.
In 2006, he established Majum Real Estate, from 2006 to 2016 was the chief executive officer of the company. Barrow started his political career with the National Reconciliation Party headed by his current Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hamat Bah together with the current Gambia Democratic Congress leader, Mamma Kandeh. However, in 2007, he parted ways with the NRP and joined the UDP when Bah advised him not to contest against their former colleague Mamma Kandeh who had cross-carpeted to the ruling APRC. Barrow lost the election to Kandeh and maintain a low profile until his election as President of The Gambia in 2016. On 30 October 2016, Barrow was chosen by a coalition of seven opposition parties as their endorsed candidate for the 2016 Gambian presidential election. Prior to becoming a candidate for the presidency, Barrow had not held any elected office, but he had been the treasurer of the United Democratic Party, he resigned from the UDP on 3 November in order to contest the election as an independent, with the full backing of Coalition 2016.
Barrow's accidental rise came since UDP’s leader Ousainou Darboe was jailed a head of the December 1 election, for leading a protest criticizing the death of an activist who died in police custody. During the campaign, he promised to return the Gambia to its membership of the Commonwealth of Nations and the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, he promised to reform security forces, pledging to increase professionalism and separate them from politics. He said that he would set up a temporary transition government formed of members from the opposition coalition and would step down within three years. In the election, Barrow won with 43.34% of the vote, defeating Yahya Jammeh and third-party candidate Mama Kandeh. Jammeh indicated that a smooth handover of power would take place. However, on Friday 9 December, in a television broadcast, he declared that he "totally" rejected the result of the election; this was met with both international outcry. The UN Security Council called on Jammeh to "respect the choice of the sovereign people of The Gambia" and the African Union declared Jammeh's statement "null and void".
Fearing for his safety, Barrow left the Gambia to Senegal while urging Jammeh to step down. Jammeh appealed his loss in the election to the Supreme Court; when the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court declared that the court would not be able consider the case for at least four more months, Jammeh declared a state of emergency to try prevent Barrow from being sworn in as president. Barrow was sworn in as President of the Gambia at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal, on 19 January 2017. On the same day, military forces from Senegal and Ghana entered the Gambia in an ECOWAS military intervention involving land and air forces to compel Jammeh to leave; the military forces of the Gambia did not oppose the intervention, which only met with isolated minor clashes near Jammeh's hometown of Kanilai. ECOWAS gave Jammeh his last chance to step down. On 21 January, Jammeh left the Gambia for an ECOWAS-arranged exile, paving the way for the transition of power. On 26 January, Barrow returned to the Gambia, while about 2,500 ECOWAS tr
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Mauritania–Senegal Border War
The Mauritania–Senegal Border War was a conflict fought between the West African countries of Mauritania and Senegal during 1989–1991. The conflict began around disputes over the two countries' River Senegal border and grazing rights, resulted in the rupture of diplomatic relations between the two countries for several years, the creation of thousands of refugees from both sides, as well as having a significant impact on domestic Senegalese politics. Mauritania's south is populated by the Fula/Toucouleur and Soninké. Senegal, meanwhile, is dominated by the Wolof; the Senegal River basin between Mauritania and Senegal has for centuries been inhabited by both black populations, such as the Fula/Toucouleur, Wolof and Soninké, by Arabs and Berber peoples. Periods of drought throughout the 1980s increased tensions over available arable land, with the basin becoming more important because of development of the basin by the Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal, which constructed dams, such as the one at Djama, that altered the balance between herders and farmers by opening new parts of the valley to irrigation.
Mauritania's attempts at land reform in 1983 strengthened the role of the state while undermining traditional agriculture, making more acute the problem of many farmers on both sides of the border. Both Mauritania and Senegal are former French colonies. Senegal, in comparison, remained attached to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, resulting in divergent foreign policies in the two countries; these factors led to a deterioration in relations between Mauritania and Senegal, with both countries hardening their stances against each other with each further incident. This created an explosive situation, stirred up by both countries' domestic news media, which focused on the ethnic dimensions to the conflict. On 9 April 1989, Diawara, a town in the Bakel Department of eastern Senegal, was the scene of clashes between Fulani herdsmen and Mauritanian Soninke farmers in Senegal over grazing rights. Mauritanian border guards intervened, firing at and killing two Senegalese peasants, as well as injuring several more while taking a dozen Senegalese prisoner.
As a result, people on the Senegalese southern bank rioted. In Senegal, many shopkeepers were Mauritanian, from 21 to 24 April, the shops of Mauritanian traders in Senegal where looted and burned. In addition, there were reports of professional Mauritanians being burned alive in their furnaces using spits, with others were beheaded; the end of April saw riots in Nouakchott and other Mauritanian cities with hundreds of Senegalese being killed or otherwise injured. Both countries began expelling the nationals of the other on 28 April, resulting in further reprisals in both countries. At this time, the official figure for the number of casualties in the conflict stood at 60. Repatriation was done with the help of French, Algerian and Spanish flights. A state of emergency and curfew were introduced in the Dakar region to prevent further violence. Senegalese President Abdou Diouf used the Senegalese army to protect the Mauritanian nationals who were being rounded up and expelled. In all 160,000 Mauritanians, the majority of them in Senegal, were repatriated.
Lynch mobs and police brutality in Mauritania resulting in the forced exile of about 70,000 southerners to Senegal, despite most of them having no links to the country. About 250,000 people fled their homes as both sides engaged in cross-border raids. Hundreds of people died in both countries; the Senegal-Mauritanian border closed and diplomatic relations between the two countries were broken on 21 August 1989. The Organisation of African Unity tried to negotiate a settlement to reopen the border, but it was an initiative of Senegalese President Abdou Diouf which led to a treaty being signed on July 18, 1991; the treaty helped result in the re-established of relations, which took place in April 1992, the border was reopened on 2 May 1992. Mauritanian refugees trickled back into the country during the following years; the armed black nationalist Mauritanian movement African Liberation Forces of Mauritania is based in northern Senegal. The departure of massive numbers of people lead to an incredible disruption in the balance of the Senegal river valley, causing a decline in agricultural production and an increase in deforestation.
In Mauritania the construction and fishing industries, which were traditionally staffed by the Senegalese suffered from the expulsions. The water and general infrastructure of the Senegalese bank of the river operating at peak capacity, was overwhelmed by the sheer number of refugees; the Senegalese population centers of Podor and Matam saw their populations grow by 13.6% and 12% respectively. The populations of some other villages in Senegal double. In terms of domestic politics in Senegal, the conflict may have contributed to the rise of the PDS and Abdoulaye Wade due to the governments inability to deal with the social crisis caused by the influx of vast numbers of refugees. Senegal was further undermined by its neighbors following the war, with problems over the demarcation of the border with Guinea-Bissau has arisen in the wake of the conflict, difficulties with the Gambia leading to the dissolution of the Senegambia Confederation in 1989; the period of conflict has had a lasting impact on relations between Mauritania and Senegal as well as domestic perceptions of each other.
In June 2007, the Mauritanian government under President Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi asked the United Nations High Commiss
Sierra Leone the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests; the country has a population of 7,075,641 as of the 2015 census. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature; the country's capital and largest city is Freetown. Sierra Leone is made up of five administrative regions: the Northern Province, North West Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area; these regions are subdivided into sixteen districts. Sierra Leone was a British Crown Colony from 1808 to 1961. Sierra Leone became independent from the United Kingdom on 27 April 1961, led by Sir Milton Margai, who became the country's first prime minister. In May 1962, Sierra Leone held its first general elections as an independent nation. On 19 April 1971, Siaka Stevens' government abolished Sierra Leone's parliamentary government system and declared Sierra Leone a presidential republic.
From 1978 to 1985, Sierra Leone was a one-party state in which Stevens' APC was the only legal political party in the country. The current constitution of Sierra Leone, which includes multiparty democracy, was adopted in 1991 by the government of President Joseph Saidu Momoh, Stevens' hand-picked successor. On 23 March 1991, a rebel group known as the Revolutionary United Front led by a former Sierra Leone army officer Foday Sankoh launched an eleven-year brutal civil war in the country, in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the Sierra Leone government. In April 1992, a group of junior army officers in their twenties overthrew president Momoh from power, their leader a 25 year old captain Valentine Strasser became the world's youngest Head of State. In January 1996 Brigadier General Julius Maada Bio returned the country to multi-party democracy and the 1991 constitution was reestablished. Bio handed power to Ahmad Tejan Kabbah after his victory in the 1996 Sierra Leone presidential election.
In 1997, the military overthrew President Kabbah. However, in February 1998, a coalition of West African Ecowas armed forces led by Nigeria removed the military junta from power by force and President Kabbah was reinstated as president. Sierra Leone has had an uninterrupted democracy from 1998 to present. In January 2002, President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah fulfilled his campaign promise by ending the civil war as the rebels were defeated by military force with the help and support of Ecowas, the British government, the African Union, the United Nations. 16 ethnic groups inhabit each with its own language and customs. The two largest and most influential are the Mende; the Temne are predominantly found in the northwest of the country, the Mende are predominant in the southeast. Comprising a small minority, about 2%, are the Krio people, who are descendants of freed African-American and West Indian slaves. Although English is the official language, used in schools and government administration, Krio, an English-based creole, is the most spoken language across Sierra Leone and is spoken by 98% of the country's population.
The Krio language unites all the different ethnic groups in the country in their trade and social interaction. Sierra Leone is a Muslim-majority country at about 78%, though there is an influential Christian minority at 21%. Sierra Leone is regarded as one of the most religiously tolerant states in the world. Muslims and Christians collaborate and interact with each other peacefully, religious violence is rare; the major Christian and Muslim holidays are public holidays in the country, including Christmas, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha Sierra Leone has relied on mining diamonds, for its economic base. It is among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, is a major producer of gold, has one of the world's largest deposits of rutile. Sierra Leone is home to the third-largest natural harbour in the world. Despite this natural wealth, 53% of its population lived in poverty in 2011. Sierra Leone is a member of many international organisations, including the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Mano River Union, the Commonwealth of Nations, the African Development Bank and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
Archaeological finds show that Sierra Leone has been inhabited continuously for at least 2,500 years, populated successively by societies who migrated from other parts of Africa. The people adopted the use of iron by the 9th century and by 1000 AD agriculture was being practised along the coast; the climate changed and boundaries among different ecological zones changed as well, affecting migration and conquest. Sierra Leone's dense tropical rainforest and swampy environment was considered impenetrable; this environmental factor protected its people from conquests by the Mande and other African empires. This reduced the Islamic influence of the Mali Empire but Islam, introduced by Susu traders and migrants from the north and east, became adopted in the 18th century. European contacts within Sierra Leone were among the first in West Africa in the 15th century. In 1462, Portuguese explorer Pedro de Sintra mapped the hills surrounding what is now Freetown Harbour, naming the shaped formation Serra da Leoa or "Serra Leoa".
The Spanish rendering of this geographic formation is Sierra Leona, adapted and, became the country's current name. Although according to the p
Rwanda the Republic of Rwanda, is a country in Central and East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rwanda is in the African Great Lakes region and is elevated; the climate is temperate to subtropical, with two dry seasons each year. The population is predominantly rural, with a density among the highest in Africa. Rwandans are drawn from just one cultural and linguistic group, the Banyarwanda, although within this group there are three subgroups: the Hutu and Twa; the Twa are a forest-dwelling pygmy. Scholars disagree on differences between the Hutu and Tutsi. Christianity is the largest religion in the country; the sovereign state of Rwanda has a presidential system of government. The president is Paul Kagame of the Rwandan Patriotic Front, who took office in 2000. Rwanda today has low corruption compared with neighbouring countries, although human rights organisations report suppression of opposition groups and restrictions on freedom of speech.
The country has been governed by a strict administrative hierarchy since precolonial times. Rwanda is one of only two countries with a female majority in the national parliament. Hunter gatherers settled the territory in the stone and iron ages, followed by Bantu peoples; the population coalesced first into clans and into kingdoms. The Kingdom of Rwanda dominated from the mid-eighteenth century, with the Tutsi kings conquering others militarily, centralising power and enacting anti-Hutu policies. Germany colonised Rwanda in 1884 as part of German East Africa, followed by Belgium, which invaded in 1916 during World War I. Both European nations perpetuated a pro-Tutsi policy; the Hutu population revolted in 1959. They massacred numerous Tutsi and established an independent, Hutu-dominated state in 1962. A 1973 military coup saw a change of leadership; the Tutsi-led Rwandan Patriotic Front launched a civil war in 1990. The presidents of Rwanda and Burundi, both Hutus, died together when their aeroplane was shot down in April 1994.
Social tensions erupted in the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsi and moderate Hutu. The RPF ended the genocide with a military victory. Rwanda's economy suffered in wake of the 1994 genocide, but has since strengthened; the economy is based on subsistence agriculture. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export. Tourism is a fast-growing sector. Rwanda is one of only two countries in which mountain gorillas can be visited safely, visitors pay high prices for gorilla tracking permits. Music and dance are an integral part of Rwandan culture drums and the choreographed intore dance. Traditional arts and crafts are produced throughout the country, including imigongo, a unique cow dung art; the name "Rwanda" is derived from the Rwanda-Rundi word rwanda meaning "domain" or an "area occupied by a swarm". The official name of the country was "Rwandese Republic" until May 2003, when the adoption of a new national constitution changed it to its current name of "Republic of Rwanda".
Modern human settlement of what is now Rwanda dates from, at the latest, the last glacial period, either in the Neolithic period around 8000 BC, or in the long humid period which followed, up to around 3000 BC. Archaeological excavations have revealed evidence of sparse settlement by hunter gatherers in the late stone age, followed by a larger population of early Iron Age settlers, who produced dimpled pottery and iron tools; these early inhabitants were the ancestors of the Twa, aboriginal pygmy hunter-gatherers who remain in Rwanda today. Between 700 BC and 1500 AD, a number of Bantu groups migrated into Rwanda, clearing forest land for agriculture; the forest-dwelling Twa moved to the mountain slopes. Historians have several theories regarding the nature of the Bantu migrations. An alternative theory is that the migration was slow and steady, with incoming groups integrating into rather than conquering the existing society. Under this theory, the Hutu and Tutsi distinction arose and was a class distinction rather than a racial one.
The earliest form of social organisation in the area was the clan. The clans were not limited to genealogical lineages or geographical area, most included Hutu and Twa. From the 15th century, the clans began to coalesce into kingdoms. One of these, the Kingdom of Rwanda, ruled by the Tutsi Nyiginya clan, became dominant from the mid-eighteenth century; the kingdom reached its greatest extent during the nineteenth century under the reign of King K
Senegalese Air Force
The Senegalese Air Force French: Armée de l'Air Sénégalaise is the air force branch of the Senegalese Armed Forces. It was formed on 1 April 1961 with Douglas C-47s, MH.1521 Broussards, plus Sud Aloutte II and Agusta-Bell 47G helicopters. Close ties to France have been maintained with France through training and base facilities agreements. From the early 1970s saw further French deliveries, the first jet aircraft enter service; the Fouga Magister jet trainer/ground attack as well as an SA 341H Gazelle and SA 330F Puma helicopters were delivered. Expansion saw the delivery of six Fokker F27 transport to replace the C47's from 1977, when four SOCATA Rallye light planes were acquired. Four armed Rallye 235A Guerrier version followed in 1984; the Armée de l'Air Sénégalaise headquarters are located at Ouakam, near the capital of Dakar, on the opposite side of the Léopold Sédar Senghor International Airport. The air force has the role of defending Senegalese airspace, protecting airport areas, supporting other Senegalese forces and maritime patrol.
Funding remains a constant problem for the Senegalese Air Force and the increasing cost of aviation fuel restricts the number of available flying hours. General Birame Diop General Ousmane Kane General Alain JC Pereira Captain Mamadou Mansour Seck Commander Amadou Lam Colonel Mamadou Diop Colonel Sidy Ndiaye Bouya Colonel Raoul Dacosta Colonel Amadou Fall Colonel Tamba Meissa Colonel Mouhamadou Diawara General Alain JC Pereira World aircraft information files Brightstar publishing File 338 sheet 4
3rd Special Forces Group (United States)
The 3rd Special Forces Group – abbreviated 3rd SFG and simply called 3rd Group – is an active duty United States Army Special Forces group, active in the Vietnam Era and reactivated in 1990. The 3rd SFG was responsible for operations within the AFRICOM area of responsibility, as part of the Special Operations Command, Africa, its primary area of operations is now Africa as part of a 2015 SOCOM directive but 3rd Group has been involved in the Caribbean and the Greater Middle East. The 3rd SFG has seen extensive action in the War on Terror and its members have distinguished themselves on the battlefield in Afghanistan. 3rd Group was first activated on 5 December 1963 at North Carolina. The four colors of the quadrants of 3rd Group's beret flash are derived from the flashes of the pre-existing SF units from which 3rd Group's members were drawn; these colors are: yellow, red and white. 3rd Group was oriented towards the Middle East and Africa during the 1960s. The unit trained the armed forces of Mali, Ethiopia, the Congo, Jordan – in addition to supporting the Gemini 6 and 7 space launches in 1965.
3rd Group worked with the 5th SFG in Vietnam. In 1966, 3rd Group transferred assumed control of the 403rd Army Security Agency Special Operations Detachment and the 19th PSYOP Company over to 5th Group. With the "Vietnamization" of the conflict, the 3rd SFG was inactivated in 1969 and its members were transferred back to the other Special Forces Groups; the 3rd Special Forces Group was reactivated in 1990. Its AO consisted of the Caribbean and West Africa. New group members were drawn from the 5th SFG. At the outbreak of the Gulf War, 3rd Group's only functioning battalion was deployed to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, for three months, its A-Teams carried out sabotage missions into denied areas of Iraq and Kuwait. In February 1991, 3rd Group was tasked with the mission of securing and occupying the U. S. Embassy in Kuwait City; the 2nd BN and 3rd BN of 3rd Group were reactivated in 1992, respectively. 3rd Group took part in the restoration of democracy in Haiti in 1994. In the late'90s, 3rd Group helped train forces in Senegal, Malawi, Mali and Trinidad and Tobago, among others.
In the fall of 2000, the 3rd SFG was involved in training and stabilization efforts in West Africa, dubbed "Operation Focus Relief" by the State Department. Since 9/11, the 3rd SFG has been involved in Afghanistan and Central Asia. Two of 3rd Group's battalions spend six months out of every twelve deployed to Afghanistan as part of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force – Afghanistan. In 2008, ten members of ODA 3336 were awarded Silver Stars for combat action during the Battle of Shok Valley, it was the largest set of citations for a single battle since the Vietnam War. After the citations were read then-commander of United States Army Special Operations Command, Lieutenant General John F. Mulholland, Jr. stated: As we have listened to these incredible tales, I am at a loss for words to do justice to what we have heard here, where do we get such men? … There is no finer fighting man on the face of the earth than the American soldier. And there is no finer American soldier than our Green Berets.
If you saw what you heard today in a movie, you would shake your head and say, "That didn’t happen." But it does, every day. Members of the 3rd SFG were involved in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, 26 Green berets from the group were given the task of securing a key crossroads near Debecka in Northern Iraq between the cities of Irbil and Kirkuk. If they succeeded, they would cut highway 2, preventing the Iraqi army moving north into Kurdistan and allow friendly forces to take the crucial Kirkuk oilfields; the 26 Green Berets were divided into two A-teams. The ODAs conducted battle training in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Fort Pickett, Virginia between October and December 2002, On March 8, 2003, the ODAs flew from Pope Air Force Base to Romania and on 26 March 2003 they infiltrated northern Iraq via a MC-130 Combat Talon landing at Al-Sulaymaniya, some 60 miles east of Kirkuk. In their first few days in Iraq they participated in Operation Viking Hammer and on April 1, 2003, they moved to Irbil and onto a staging area where they linked up with ODA 044, 10th SFG and their Peshmerga allies.
On April 4, 2003, they were given a new mission, code-named Northern Safari, they were to seize the Debecka intersection until relieved by the 173rd Airborne Brigade's artillery component, On April 5, they moved into position to seize the intersection and on April 6 they ran into Iraqi army forces and the Battle of Debecka Pass ensued, resulting in American and Peshmerga victory. The Special Forces secured the crossroads and endured two days of Iraqi artillery fire and into Kirkuk to secure the oil facilities to prevent their destruction by Iraqi forces. In October 2010, Staff Sergeant Robert James Miller was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. On January 25, 2008, Miller's team was ambushed during a comb