Testifying with General Ham was Admiral James Stavridis, jointly commander of U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Europe.
AFRICOM was created by EUCOM under the tutelage of dual EUCOM and NATO top commanders Generals James Jones and Bantz John Craddock in the years before achieving full operational capability - that is, being launched as an independent unified combatant command - on October 1, 2008. In the year preceding that, during its October 1, 2007-September 30, 2008 initial operational capability, it was subordinated to EUCOM. Almost all of Africa's now 54 countries (with South Sudan becoming an independent nation last year) were in EUCOM's area of responsibility and all but Egypt (still covered under U.S. Central Command) are now in AFRICOM's. As such, AFRICOM encompasses more nations than any other Pentagon regional command and all but one nation in a continent that is the world's second-most populous, with Africa's population having surpassed one billion last year.
The war against Libya was the inauguration of AFRICOM as an active military force capable of waging large-scale combat operations, as it was NATO's first war in Africa, building on a strategy first unveiled in the massive Steadfast Jaguar war games in Cape Verde in 2006 to launch the global NATO Response Force.