U.S. troops in Niger drone base set to launch next year
According to U.S. media 23rd, the U.S. Air Force in Niger built unmanned aircraft base is scheduled to be put into operation early next year.
“201 Air Base” is located in sub-Saharan Africa, a few kilometers from the central Niger City Agadez, the existing 3-seater hangar and a runway, is expected to “usher in” more than one MQ-9-type reconnaissance strike integrated aircraft and fighter aircraft.
The MQ-9 UAV has reconnaissance capabilities, armed with assault weapons and can be extended to a number of countries in western and northern Africa, targeting militants from al-Qaida and extremist group “Islamic States” that are operating in sub-Saharan Sahel.
African Special Operations Command Commander Marcus Hicks said the U.S. military launched armed drones, as special forces evacuated the front line, the movement of gravity to staff officers, auxiliary local Forces command level.
Advertising The Associated Press, Air Force officials reported that the “201 Air Force Base” cost 110 million U.S. dollars, a U.S. Army construction project funds record, completed, the annual maintenance costs about 15 million U.S. dollars. There are about 500 U.S. military personnel at the base to perform their duties.
For reasons of secrecy, the officials did not specify the number of drones to store and whether more military personnel would be deployed. There are concerns that the armed drones that the United States has put into the agadez may have mistaken civilians as armed men. Niger government official Amadou Rouffay said: “We fear to be in the same situation as Afghanistan, U.S. soldiers have made many mistakes, they sometimes can not distinguish between a wedding and a group of trained terrorists.”
” Niger’s Nuhu Muhammadu share the same concern that “the severity of the presence of foreign countries, especially U.S. military bases, is tantamount to abandoning national sovereignty and is a heavy blow to the morale of the Niger’s army.”
” In the past few years, the number of U.S. troops stationed in Niger has jumped from about 100 to about 800, behind the number of U.S. troops in Djibouti’s Le Monnier Battalion, not the first major military base.