Africa Counter Terrorism Initiative Act

Bill Number: 
Bill Location: 
Date of Last Action: 
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Africa Regional
Relevant Text: 
[Congressional Bills 113th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 4434 Introduced in House (IH)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 4434

 To require the Secretary of Defense to develop a plan to move United 
States Africa Command (AFRICOM) back to the continental United States, 
                        and for other purposes.



                             April 9, 2014

  Mr. Nunes (for himself, Mr. Keating, Mr. LoBiondo, Mr. Gerlach, Mr. 
 Boustany, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Cook, Mr. Jones, Mr. Stivers, Mrs. Black, 
  Mr. Wilson of South Carolina, Mr. Brady of Texas, Mr. Shuster, Mr. 
 Coffman, Mr. Diaz-Balart, Mr. Tiberi, Mr. Valadao, Mr. Marchant, Mr. 
  Latham, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, Mr. Kinzinger of Illinois, Mr. Costa, Mr. 
 Young of Indiana, Mr. Denham, Mr. Rohrabacher, Mr. Cole, Mr. LaMalfa, 
   Mr. Duncan of South Carolina, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Westmoreland, Mr. 
  Rodney Davis of Illinois, Mr. Thompson of California, Mr. Issa, Mr. 
 Franks of Arizona, Mr. Chaffetz, Mr. Lamborn, Ms. Sewell of Alabama, 
  Mr. Camp, Mr. Crawford, Mr. Terry, and Mr. Holding) introduced the 
 following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Armed Services


                                 A BILL

 To require the Secretary of Defense to develop a plan to move United 
States Africa Command (AFRICOM) back to the continental United States, 
                        and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Africa Counter Terrorism Initiative 


    Congress finds the following:
            (1) The proliferation of terrorist groups is rampant in 
        unstable countries in West and sub-Saharan Africa. The biggest 
        regional threats include al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb 
        (AQIM), which has known ties to al-Qaeda in the Arabian 
        Peninsula (AQAP), Boko Haram, and al-Shabab. The opportunity to 
        expand the strategic reach and force projection of the United 
        States into the theater of operations of the United States 
        Africa Command (in this Act referred to as ``AFRICOM'') is now. 
        With the United States strategic pivot to the Pacific now 
        underway, the need to ensure retention of a strong Atlantic 
        presence is a vital and delicate aspect of strategic re-
            (2) The United States Central Command operates from its 
        headquarters in Tampa, Florida, with a forward operating 
        location in Qatar. The United States Southern Command operates 
        from its headquarters in Miami, Florida, with forward operating 
        locations in Honduras and El Salvador. It is not unusual for 
        United States military units and their combatant command 
        headquarters to operate in different time zones.
            (3) Analyses conducted by the Government Accountability 
        Office found that the annual recurring cost of maintaining a 
        United States-based headquarters for AFRICOM would be $60 
        million to $70 million less than the cost of operating the 
        AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. The annual cost of 
        providing AFRICOM personnel with overseas housing and cost-of-
        living pay was $81 million per year, compared with the $19 
        million to $25 million these would cost if the personnel were 
        located in the United States. The break-even point to recover 
        one-time relocation costs to the United States would be reached 
        between 2 and 6 years after relocation, depending on the costs 
        to establish facilities in the United States. Relocating 
        AFRICOM to the continental United States could create up to 
        4,300 additional jobs, with an annual impact on the local 
        economy ranging from $350 million to $450 million.
            (4) After an internal cost assessment, the Department of 
        Defense decided to keep AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, 
        without fully explaining why the operational benefits of 
        keeping the headquarters in Germany outweigh the benefit of 
        potentially saving millions of dollars per year and creating 
        thousands of jobs in the United States.
            (5) A review by the Government Accountability Office in 
        2013 of the Department's decision to keep AFRICOM headquarters 
        in Germany found that the decision was not supported by 
        comprehensive and well-documented analysis that balanced the 
        operational and cost benefits of the options available to the 
            (6) In April 2013, after the decision had been made to 
        maintain AFRICOM headquarters in Germany, Secretary of Defense 
        Chuck Hagel called on the Department to challenge all past 
        assumptions in order to seek cost savings and efficiencies in 
        ``a time of unprecedented shifts in the world order, new global 
        challenges, and deep global fiscal uncertainty'', to explore 
        the full range of options for implementing United States 
        national security strategy, and to ``put everything on the 
        table''. The Secretary stated that the size and shape of the 
        military forces should constantly be reassessed. He stated that 
        this reassessment should include determining the most 
        appropriate balance between forward-stationed, rotationally 
        deployed, and home-based forces.
            (7) It is within the strategic and fiscal responsibility of 
        Congress to fully analyze and provide for the implementation of 
        any consolidation of military installations. There are more 
        than 110,000 troops and civilians stationed and employed at 29 
        military installations in Europe. Priority should be given to 
        consolidating bases that are in close proximity to each other 
        and that can achieve cost savings without detriment to 
        operational readiness, such as Royal Air Force Station 
        Mildenhall and Royal Air Force Station Lakenheath, as well as 
        Moron Air Base, Spain, and Naval Station Rota, Spain.
            (8) Of particular concern is the decision to deploy assets 
        to Moron Air Base, where the readiness and effectiveness of 
        deployed troops is hindered by the lack of infrastructure to 
        house, train, and equip them. Specifically, Moron lacks the 
        facilities to properly perform ground and naval training 
        operations, and only has limited ability to accomplish air 
        training operations. By contrast, Lajes Field has implemented 
        more than $150 million of major infrastructure upgrades over 
        the past 12 years to improve the quality of life, upgrade 
        communication capabilities, bolster security, and enhance 
        military operations. With a nearby port, sprawling fields, and 
        unrestricted airspace, Lajes Field has the unique ability to 
        host extensive air, ground, and naval training operations. 
        Lajes' strategic location, infrastructure improvements, 
        unrestricted air space, and outstanding training environment 
        for all forces make this an indispensable asset and an ideal 
        forward operating base for AFRICOM, as opposed to spending 
        hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade aging sites such as 
        Moron Air Base, Spain.
            (9) It is in the national interest of the United States to 
        save millions of dollars per year and bring thousands of jobs 
        to the United States by moving AFRICOM headquarters from 
        Stuttgart, Germany, to the continental United States.


    (a) Plan Required.--The Secretary of Defense shall develop a plan 
in accordance with subsection (b) to transfer the headquarters of 
AFRICOM from Stuttgart, Germany, to a location in the continental 
United States.
    (b) Matters Covered.--
            (1) Assets of africom.--The plan required under this 
        section shall provide for--
                    (A) the 65th Air Base Wing to be an AFRICOM asset;
                    (B) AFRICOM permanent assets (including assets 
                related to air, ground, special operations, and 
                logistics) to be located at Lajes Field, Azores, 
                Portugal; and
                    (C) the transfer of United States assets at Lajes 
                Field from United States European Command to AFRICOM, 
                for purposes of being the forward operating location, 
                logistical hub, and location of assets of AFRICOM.
            (2) Relocations to lajes field.--The plan required under 
        this section shall also provide for the relocation of the 
        Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response 
        (SP-MAGTF CR) from Moron Air Base, Spain, to Lajes Field.
    (c) Submission to Congress.--The plan required under this section 
shall be submitted to Congress not later than 6 months after the date 
of the enactment of this Act.
    (d) Implementation of Plan.--The Secretary of Defense shall 
implement the plan required by this section within 6 months after 
submission of the plan to Congress under subsection (c), and in no 
event later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act.


    The Secretary of Defense shall conduct a review of the Agreement on 
Cooperation and Defense Between the United States and Portugal, signed 
at Lisbon June 1, 1995, to ensure that such Agreement accurately 
reflects and accounts for the plan required under section 3.


    Effective until at least the date of completion of the 2018 
quadrennial defense review, Lajes Field shall continue operating 24 
hours a day, at or above its 2012 levels of readiness.