Senegal’s military recently received 2 200 M4 carbines from the United States through its Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system.
Senegal’s Army requested the weapons and associated training prior to deploying to Mali to support the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali. Africa Command identified the case as a priority and critical to support Senegalese units being deployed to Mali for the peacekeeping mission.
In June 2018, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency approved the diversion of 2 200 M4A1 carbines and Senegal received the weapons in August. Standard lead times for procurement of weapons could be anywhere from 24 to 30 months.
The Tank-automative and Armaments Command worked the immediate release of 2 200 weapons from Colt’s West Hartford, Connecticut, facility and began planning delivery in conjunction with the Transportation Command.
Under USASAC’s Total Package Approach, 50 Senegalese soldiers received familiarization training on the M4 in September 2018 at the Mount Rolland Training Site, Theis, Senegal.
Members of the Vermont National Guard conducted the four days of training. Vermont is paired with Senegal under the State Partnership Program, which is a joint Department of Defense program managed by the National Guard Bureau.
The joint Air/Army team provided familiarization training on the new weapons system, which replaces the M16A1. The focus was to train the trainer so the 50 Senegalese soldiers would be able to conduct similar training in their units.
Training consisted of classroom support training that enhanced safe range procedures, weapon functionality and different firing positions and techniques and live fire ranges, where the Senegalese soldiers zeroed and qualified the weapons.
“Various types of weapons have been provided to Senegal in the past, but this was Senegal’s first FMS buy utilizing national funds since 2007,” Philip Sauger Jr., the central case manager for Senegal, said.
Senegal paid roughly $1.6 million in national funds for the 2 200 M4s received.
“For this particular FMS buy, we were able to leverage a firm-fixed-price contract awarded to Colt by the Department of Defense,” Sauger said. “Having the contract in place with Colt allowed for us to meet the urgent need of the customer for these weapons and drastically cut down the normal contracting timelines usually associated with FMS buys.”