U.S. Africa Command Director of Operations U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Joel Tyler and AFRICOM Director of Logistics U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Kevin Jones met with Sahel region leaders, partner military leaders and forces, and U.S. troops during a multi-day trip to Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger, Feb. 8-12.
During the trip, Tyler and Jones met with African and French partners and U.S. leadership in all four countries to reaffirm the command’s ongoing mission, personnel support, and commitment in the region.
“Our strong partnerships with African and French militaries are critical in the Sahel, and together we strive to sustain our mutual objectives of increasing stability and deterring violent extremist threats,” said Tyler. “This trip was an up-close reminder of how diligently and closely we work with our allies and partners work to contain the spread of violent extremism and secure a better future in the region.”
While in Chad, Mali, and Burkina Faso, Tyler and Jones also met with troops and leaders from Operation Barkhane and Task Force Sabre, two of the French-led counterterrorism initiatives in the region.
“The quality of Franco-American ties was fundamental to preparing and conducting a major operation like ECLIPSE,” said French Army Colonel Frédéric, head of J5 at the Joint Theatre Command Post (PCIAT) in N’Djamena, Chad, in charge of Franco-American cooperation. “The U.S. military has been invaluable in providing assistance and support.”
In Niger, Tyler and Jones visited two airbases where U.S. troops are stationed to discuss operations and logistics successes and challenges in the region.
During each country visit, Tyler and Jones also met with U.S. embassy teams to discuss ongoing interagency initiatives and ways to build upon the whole-of-government approach that includes leveraging diplomatic and development initiatives as well as military support.
“Our teams are doing exceptional work strengthening our partnerships in the Sahel,” said Jones. “These partnerships assure the safe and free movement of equipment, personnel, and supplies in a sprawling and complex environment. The relationships we have built are essential to maintaining the logistics networks needed to support U.S. and partner forces.”