Africom Commander visits Chad

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US Marine Corps General Michael Langley, Commander, US Africa Command, and Sergeant Major Michael Woods have visited Chad to discuss security collaboration with Chadian military leaders.

During the visit on 9 and 10 January, Langley had the opportunity to congratulate the nation’s first female military pilots trained on the Cessna 208 Caravan light reconnaissance aircraft. Two were formally transferred by the United States to Chad in May 2018.

Langley and Woods engaged with key military leaders and partners to discuss collaborative efforts in promoting peace, security, and stability across the Sahel, Africa Command reported.

“US Africa Command remains dedicated to building enduring partnerships with Chad and other African nations in the Sahel to address mutual security concerns and to help promote a peaceful and prosperous future in the region,” Langley said.

During the trip, Langley met with General Abakar Abdelkerim Daoud, Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces for Chad, and other military leaders. Discussions focused on regional security challenges and Chadian efforts to counter violent extremism in the Sahel.

Langley also viewed the Chadian Air Force’s two C-208B light reconnaissance aircraft and took the opportunity to speak with pilots, maintainers, and operators. Chadian forces use the aircraft for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions to counter violent extremist organizations in the Lake Chad Basin.

Of note, Langley met with Chad’s first two female military pilots, Lieutenant Ahmat and Lieutenant Djiddi from the Chadian Air Force who were certified to fly the C-208s in the United States in 2022.

“Instability in the Sahel threatens US interests, making collaboration essential for intelligence sharing and capacity building. Additionally, US engagement aids regional stability, essential for economic growth and humanitarian efforts. By fostering partnerships, the United States aims to counter terrorism and promote collective security efforts in the Sahel,” Africa Command stated.

“The Sahel region in Africa holds immense security importance due to its challenges. Extremist groups exploit weak governance and environmental stressors, causing instability. This insecurity not only affects the Sahel but also poses a global threat by fostering terrorism and exacerbating humanitarian crises,” the Command continued.

Langley met with US military personnel stationed at the embassy, recognizing members for their accomplishments.

“It was an honour to have General Langley with us, to see the progress Chad has made since his last visit here,” said US Army Colonel Mark Choate, Senior Defence Official, Defence Attaché to the Republic of Chad. “On the military front, Chad has enacted important reforms, embracing civilian governance with a civilian Minister of Defence and maintaining its international commitments in a time of turmoil.”