U.S. donates 54 Humvees to Djibouti

Djibouti’s elite rapid intervention unit has received fifty-four Humvees tactical vehicles as part of a $31 million train-and-equip partnership between the U.S. government and the Djiboutian military.

The shipment of the new Humvees arrived in Djibouti City, Djibouti, on 20 December. They will be operated by the Rapid Intervention Battalion (RIB), an advanced infantry battalion of the Armed Forces of Djibouti (FAD), which were trained and equipped by the U.S. military.

While speaking during the handover, Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven deMilliano, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) deputy director of strategy, engagement, and programs disclosed that the $31 million train-and-equip partnership, facilitated by U.S. Embassy Djibouti, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. Army Africa and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, reflects the strong, enduring and cooperative relationship enjoyed by the United States and the Republic of Djibouti.

“The U.S. offers our partners, like Djibouti, a unique partnership by investing in their security and economy for the people of Djibouti,”

Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven deMilliano, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) deputy director of strategy, engagement, and programs

Djibouti which is strategically located in the Horn of Africa, is a key U.S. partner on security, regional stability and humanitarian efforts across the region.

The country is home to various foreign military presence including China and Japan, which has caused concerns about a likely future confrontation after the Chinese military reportedly fired a laser weapon on U.S. military aircraft.

According to U.S. AFRICOM, The U.S. military presence in Djibouti affords our partners an implicit security guarantee, in addition to economic benefits.

The U.S. military’s direct and indirect payments total over $200 million annually, equivalent to around 10 percent of Djibouti’s gross domestic product.

The U.S. government is also Djibouti’s second largest employer, behind only the government of Djibouti, including its port operations.

On June 2019, the United States announced that it will supply Djibouti with the Oshkosh Defense  Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) variants in a contract worth $320 million.

Also, in order to expand its unmanned operations, the United States has awarded a contract to an Italian company Consorzio Stabile GMG SCARL to build new hangars at Chabelley Airfield in Djibouti.

Patrick Kenyette

Freelance journalist and Photographer, and regular African Military Blog contributor