RABAT, Morocco — The United States transferred ownership of 21 specialized vehicles to the Moroccan Forces Armées Royale Special Operations Company (MSOF) valued at over $1 million on May 6.
The transfer culminates three years of close cooperation to train and equip the MSOF company through an $18 million grant.
"It's never lost on us that in 1777, as the United States fought for independence, Morocco emerged as the first country to recognize our new nation," said U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Steven deMilliano, Deputy Director, Strategy, Engagement, and Programs Directorate, United States Africa Command. "Our friendship, established over two centuries ago, remains strong with Morocco, a premiere security partner, providing regional leadership through exercises, training programs, and counterterrorism cooperation. This vehicle transfer demonstrates our mutual commitment and shared values."
This delivery of vehicles marks a critical step to enhance the company’s capacity to conduct special operations and internal company command and control by the end of this year. The U.S. Embassy’s Office of Security Cooperation and the Utah National Guard have established an exceptional relationship with the MSOF since training first began in 2017, with numerous combined training events occurring each year in Tifnit as well as other locations.
Col. Abderrahim Maddah, Post Commander of the FAR Southern Zone Training Center in Tifnit, met with the Senior Defense Official of the U.S. Embassy, Col. Kenneth Gjone, to complete the transfer.
“While this delivery marks the completion of this multi-year security cooperation project with Morocco, the military-military relationship between our two great countries is already strong and will continue to grow over the coming years,” said Gjone.
The MSOF has extensive training experience with multiple U.S. Special Operations units. The MSOF operators have earned an outstanding reputation through numerous training exercises. Most recently, the Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Dagvin Anderson, lauded their exceptional performance during the multinational Exercise Flintlock 2020 in Mauritania.
The FAR and the Utah National Guard have been strong partners through the U.S. Department of Defense State Partnership Program since 2003, and the operators and support personnel of the 19th Special Forces Group of the Utah National Guard are proud brothers in arms with Moroccan Special Forces.
"We applaud the professionalism, discipline, and dedication of the Moroccan Royal Armed Forces under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI and Inspector General Abdelfatah Louarak," said U.S. Ambassador to Morocco David T. Fischer, "and we are proud to partner with Morocco in the development of the Moroccan Special Operations Company."