US delivers four Defender boats to Djibouti

The Djiboutian Navy has received four Defender patrol boats from the United States on 22 February, as part of a train-and-equip partnership between the US Department of State and the Djiboutian military.

The Defender boats which were facilitated by US Embassy Djibouti, US Africa Command, US Naval Forces Africa, and Combined Joint Task Force—Horn of Africa, reflects the enduring security relationship enjoyed by the United States and the Republic of Djibouti, the US military said.

The boats are built by SAFE Boats International (Secure All-around Flotation Equipped) of Port Orchard, Washington.

Djibouti which sits at a strategic position in the Horn of Africa, and is located next to one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.

Hence, the importance of the patrol boats as Djibouti is an essential partner in the fight against piracy, smuggling and other maritime vices.

The Defender boats joins other small boats including; two Metal Shark 28 Defiant coastal patrol boats donated by the US in April 2013, half a dozen Sawari class inshore patrol vessels, half a dozen fast launches and a single ex-French landing craft, and two Japan donated two 20 metre patrol boats.

For a lot time, AFRICOM has been supporting the Djibouti an military with essential hardware to bolster its operations. In 25 December, 2019, Djibouti’s elite rapid intervention unit 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.

Patrick Kenyette

Freelance journalist and Photographer, and regular African Military Blog contributor