The commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa traveled to Senegal this week to discuss future opportunities for collaboration with the head of Senegal’s Navy, visit key cooperative security locations, and meet with U.S. Embassy officials – marking 60 years of U.S.-Senegal security cooperation.
Maj. Gen. Stephen Neary, commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa, visited with Senegalese Naval Chief of Staff Rear Adm. Oumar Wade and U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Tulinabo Mushingi, in Dakar, Senegal, Oct. 5-7, 2020.
During the visit Neary and Wade discussed the next steps to successfully institute the Naval Infantry Leaders Symposium-Africa, a multinational, Africa-focused forum designed to bring together partner nations with marine forces and naval infantries to develop interoperability, crisis response capabilities, and foster relationships that will improve Africa’s maritime domain security.
“The United States and Senegal have enjoyed 60 years of close security cooperation. We are immensely grateful to Senegal for their support in establishing a regional forum for nations with naval infantry forces,” said Neary. “Senegal plays a critical role as a leader in regional security by countering illicit trafficking and enhancing maritime security, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic coast, contributing to peacekeeping operations and many other efforts.”
Neary also visited the Cooperative Security Location in Dakar alongside U.S. Embassy officials to see firsthand how Senegal plays a critical role in ensuring U.S. forces are postured with needed equipment to respond to crises throughout Africa. CSLs are host-nation owned facilities with minimal U.S. presence that are typically used for missions such as security cooperation and building partner nation capacity, and can support an increased U.S. force presence during contingencies.
“We’re also looking to build on our close partnership with the Compagnie des Fusiliers Marins Commando, Senegal’s naval infantry force, with increased military-to-military engagement and training to further enhance that force’s capability,” said Neary.
Neary and Wade discussed the exchange of best practice with Senegalese partners to include: medical assistance; ensuring safety and sanitation, particularly during this COVID period; health communication strategies; and emergency disaster preparedness.
“We share common security challenges in the region and have specialized forces who can work together and learn from each other, as we have successfully done for the last 60 years,” said Neary. “We look forward to continued partnership with Senegal at this high level of cooperation and coordination.”