DJIBOUTI CITY – As part of a 31 million U.S. dollars train-and-equip partnership between the U.S. government and the Djiboutian military, a shipment of 54 new Humvees arrived in Djibouti City, Djibouti.
The military vehicles – delivered to Djibouti seven months ahead of schedule – will be used by the Armed Forces of Djibouti (FAD) for its Rapid Intervention Battalion, an advanced infantry battalion being trained and equipped by the U.S. military.
“The U.S. offers our partners, like Djibouti, a unique partnership by investing in their security and economy for the people of Djibouti,” said Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven deMilliano, U.S. Africa Command (Africom) deputy director of strategy, engagement, and programs.
The $31 million train-and-equip partnership reflects the strong, enduring and cooperative relationship enjoyed by the United States and Djibouti, Africom said in a statement on Friday.
“The key to maintaining a trusted partner is through transparency and reliability,” said deMilliano. “We are committed to strengthening the defense capability of our Djiboutian partners while ensuring timely and desired support.”
Centered around a cadre of experienced Djiboutian officers and non-commissioned officers, Djibouti’s Rapid Intervention Battalion (RIB) recruits receive multidimensional skills training as the battalion evolves and grows in capability.
Training provided by the U.S. includes, but is not limited to, light infantry tactics, mission planning, weapons training, first aid, land navigation, communication exercises, and additional advanced instruction.
“With the delivery of these vehicles, we will increase the capability of the RIB to conduct mounted patrols and respond quickly to any mission,” said Army Capt. Michael Simpson, the officer in charge of RIB training. “We are excited to continue building a strong partnership between Djibouti and the U.S. with this new level of operational training.”
Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti hosts militaries of several countries including the U.S.
The U.S. military – both directly and indirectly – invests a total of over $200 million annually, equivalent to around 10 percent of Djibouti’s gross domestic product, and is also Djibouti’s second-largest employer.
File Photo: U.S. Army Soldiers conduct convoy evacuation operations in Humvees during a joint coalition exercise at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Sep. 5, 2018. (Photo U.S. Navy/Timothy M. Ahearn)