Kenyan Chaplains visit Camp Lemonnier

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Kenyan Ministry of Defense Muslim Imam (Lieutenant Colonel) Mohammed Ahmed (second from the right) meets with partner nation coalition officers from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) before visiting the Muslim prayer tent on Camp Lemonnier, July 5. Ahmed, along with two other Kenyan chaplains, traveled to Camp Lemonnier to receive U.S. professional military chaplaincy familiarization with CJTF-HOA chaplains. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Kenyan Ministry of Defense Muslim Imam (Lieutenant Colonel) Mohammed Ahmed (second from the right) meets with partner nation coalition officers from Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) before visiting the Muslim prayer tent on Camp Lemonnier, July 5. Ahmed, along with two other Kenyan chaplains, traveled to Camp Lemonnier to receive U.S. professional military chaplaincy familiarization with CJTF-HOA chaplains. (U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Kenyan Ministry of Defense Catholic Bishop (Colonel) Alfred Rotich sits in the Enduring Freedom Chapel on Camp Lemonnier during a series of familiarization briefings, July 5. Rotich and two other Kenyan chaplains visited Camp Lemonnier to exchange ideas with their U.S. counterparts and learn about the U.S. professional military chaplaincy programs. (U.S. Army Photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti – Kenyan Ministry of Defense Catholic Bishop (Colonel) Alfred Rotich sits in the Enduring Freedom Chapel on Camp Lemonnier during a series of familiarization briefings, July 5. Rotich and two other Kenyan chaplains visited Camp Lemonnier to exchange ideas with their U.S. counterparts and learn about the U.S. professional military chaplaincy programs. (U.S. Army Photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)

CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti -- Chaplains from the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) Religious Affairs office welcomed three Kenyan Ministry of Defense (KMoD) chaplains to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, July 5, during a U.S. military professional chaplaincy familiarization visit.

Catholic Bishops (Colonels) Alfred Rotich and Paul Simuyu and Muslim Imam (Lieutenant Colonel) Mohammed Ahmed met with U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Michael Franken, CJTF-HOA commander, and visited several camp locations to include the chapel, Muslim prayer tent, and Fleet and Family Services Center.

"Our goal was to acquaint them with our ideology, methodology and approach to ministry," said U.S. Air Force Chaplain (Lieutenant Colonel) William O'Sullivan of CJTF-HOA Religious Affairs. "In doing so we resolidified previously established ties and reinforced our commitment to assist the KMoD in developing a more robust chaplain corps."

One particular U.S. chaplaincy practice stood out to the KMoD chaplains.

"The best part of our visit was learning about the chaplain assistant career field," said Rotich. "We don't have such a thing were very impressed with how the enlisted chapel personnel conducted their program."

According to O'Sullivan, the KMoD chaplains will likely visit Camp Lemonnier again before year's end.

"The return visit will be longer to allow the chaplains more time to work with our chaplains here," he said. "There will be more hands-on shadowing and partnering to further the exchange of ideas and mutual edification."

Rotich and the other chaplains expressed thanks for a successful visit.

"Thank you for the opportunity to learn and grow in a better understanding of the U.S. military chaplaincy," said Rotich.

O'Sullivan will be visiting Kenya to meet with the chaplains again to learn about the KMoD Chaplain Corps.