First C-17 Withdrawal Flight Departs from Niger


“There has been an extensive amount of planning throughout the Department of Defense leading up to this point,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Kenneth Ekman, U.S. Africa Command Director of Strategy, Engagement and Programs. “The U.S. service members I have met here continue to impress me with their professionalism and commitment to their mission despite the unique set of challenges they have faced over the last few months.”
By 406th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs United States Africa Command RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany Jun 13, 2024
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The withdrawal of U.S. forces and assets from Niger progressed from initial preparations to redeployment with the departure of a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from Air Base 101 in Niamey on June 7, 2024.

This flight exemplifies the productive cooperation between the U.S. and Nigerien forces through the Joint Disengagement Commission, which is tasked with overseeing and coordinating the orderly and safe withdrawal of U.S. forces from Niger.

“There has been an extensive amount of planning throughout the Department of Defense leading up to this point,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Kenneth Ekman, U.S. Africa Command Director of Strategy, Engagement and Programs. “The U.S. service members I have met here continue to impress me with their professionalism and commitment to their mission despite the unique set of challenges they have faced over the last few months.”

Through the Joint Disengagement Commission’s cooperative and transparent efforts, a small contingent of U.S. personnel has arrived in Niger to provide logistical support, ensuring the efficient withdrawal of remaining forces and assets from Air Bases 101 and 201. Concurrently, some U.S. forces have already redeployed from Niger to their home stations as their mission contributions concluded.

 “We are encouraged by this transition from planning to execution,” said Ekman. “Our team on the ground is prepared and ready to ensure a smooth and expeditious withdrawal. I am also grateful for the close collaboration by our Nigerien hosts.”

U.S. and Nigerien officials remain committed to completing a safe, orderly, and responsible withdrawal by September 15, 2024, and the Nigerien Ministry of National Defense has emphasized its commitment to the protection and security of American forces throughout the process.

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