The United States military has deployed a group of navy ships off the coast of Somalia to support the withdrawal of some 700 personnel from the country, the Pentagon said on Tuesday but Africom Commander General Stephen Townsend underscored that the US was not pulling out of the region with most of the 700 personnel departing Somalia set to be rebased in Kenya or Djibouti, where they will be able to continue pressuring al-Shabab. “To be clear, the US is not withdrawing or disengaging from East Africa. We remain committed to helping our African partners build a more secure future. We also remain capable of striking al-Shabab at the time and place of our choosing – they should not test us,” Townsend insisted.