Written by defenceWeb
The United States Air Force (USAF) has started limited flights from newly constructed facilities at Air Base 201 in Niger, which will later be used to carry out armed and unarmed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) missions in the region.
The USAF said limited, visual flight rule (VFR), operations were authorised by the US Air Force and Nigerien Civil Aviation Authority (ANAC) from 1 August.
By Thomas Gibbons-Neff
For nearly two years, a deadly ambush of American soldiers in Niger has spawned investigations, recriminations and reprimands. On Wednesday, it resulted in the awarding of one of the military’s highest honors for acts of valor.
As an Army captain read the award citation for Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, the lights flickered and a summer storm rolled through this small southern Georgia town. A general spoke about the definition of a hero, and then Sergeant Wright’s father cleared his throat, gestured to the two photographs beside him and said, “This is my son.” Read more
After five years of negotiations, followed by years of construction delays, the new American airbase in Niger has been completed. Called Airbase 201, it cost $110 million and is one of the most expensive U.S. Air Force foreign airbase construction projects even undertaken. The main purpose of the base is to improve surveillance and intel collection about Islamic terrorists in the region. That will be accomplished by basing UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) there along with some manned aircraft. Read more
By Ben Wolfgang – The Washington Times
A U.S. vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Niger on Saturday, Pentagon officials said, in an incident that once again shines a spotlight on America’s military presence in the African country.
U.S. Africa Command said that the American mine-resistant, all-terrain vehicle hit an IED while entering a firing range near the town of Ouallam in southwestern Niger. No U.S. service members were killed or injured. Read more