The Pentagon has awarded Kellog Brown and Root (KBR) a $56.56 million contract for base operation support services at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.
The contract is the exercise of an option on a previously awarded contract, according to the U.S Department of Defence (DoD), and covers a year.
The work to be performed provides for public safety (security operations, emergency management, and fire/emergency services), air operations, ordnance, supply operations, laundry services, morale welfare and recreation, galley (food services), housing (bachelor quarters), facility support (facilities investment, janitorial services, grounds maintenance, pest control, refuse collection, and roads), utilities (electrical generation, wastewater treatment, and water operations), base support vehicles equipment, and environmental services.
The total contract amount after the exercise of the option will be $224 153 913, according to the DoD.
Work will be performed in Djibouti, (95 percent), and Manda Bay, Kenya (5 percent); work is expected to be completed in June 2015. Fiscal 2014 operation and maintenance (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $53 201 122 are being obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
In May the United States revealed that it had secured a ten year lease extension on Camp Lemonnier, but may extend the lease for twenty additional years. Camp Lemonnier, next to Djibouti’s international airport, is the only official American military base on the African continent and is an important hub for stationing special forces and military aircraft operating in the region. Around 4 000 American and allied personnel are based at Camp Lemonnier.
The Associated Press reports that the lease will cost $63 million per year for the next ten years. Apparently the United States paid Djibouti $38 million a year for the use of the base under the previous lease agreement.
The US military increased its presence at Camp Lemonnier following the September 11, 2001, terror attacks and the base has now become its biggest military outpost in Africa. The Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJF-HOA) is based at Lemonnier.
Due to its importance to the US military, Camp Lemonnier is undergoing a series of upgrades, with $808 million planned to be spent on improving infrastructure at the site. Upgrades include new buildings, including a hangar, air operations centre, armoury, operations centre, warehouse, training facility, vehicle maintenance shop etc.
The upgrades come as the US diversifies the missions assigned to the base. After the attack on the US diplomatic mission in Libya on September 11, 2012, the Pentagon established a 150 person strong rapid response force at the Camp, the New York Times reports. In December last year, 45 soldiers from Djibouti were sent to the South Sudanese capital Juba to reinforce security at the US embassy there.
Last year the US military stopped flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from Camp Lemonnier after a string of crashes, moving operations to Chabelley Airfield, around 10 kilometres from the capital Djibouti. In late 2010, the US dispatched eight MQ-1B Predators to Djibouti and turned Camp Lemonnier into a full-time UAV base. These UAVs have been used to strike targets in Yemen and Somalia.
In addition to the US military, other foreign countries have a military presence at Camp Lemonnier. France and Spain, for example, base aircraft there, mainly for anti-piracy patrols off the Horn of Africa.