I am very happy to be here today as we transfer these 86 beautiful new vehicles to the Chadian military for use of their Special Anti-Terrorism Group. We have worked very closely with SATG since its establishment over 12 years ago and have watched it grow under General Abderahmane Mery’s strong leadership over the past several years. I congratulate BG Abdou Idriss on his new position as head of the SATG, and look forward to building upon our existing partnership as we continue to train with the Chadian Special Forces in the years to come.
The trucks in front of us are being presented as part of our Defense Department’s fund to train and equip partner security forces to conduct counter terrorism operations and other stability operations that are in our mutual interests. Chad continues to be the beneficiary of support from this fund because you have shown your strong dedication to the fight against counterterrorism and your troops have shown their unmatchable bravery and expertise on the battlefield. Just last week we learned that a Chadian peacekeeper in Mali was killed and others were wounded by a mine. We offer our condolences for your loss, and thank you for your continued sacrifices in the fight against extremism.
- The seventy-two Toyota Land cruisers in front of you will equip new two SATG counter terrorism companies in Faya Largeau. In addition to normal transport vehicles, each company will have a command vehicle and an ambulance.
- Along with the Toyotas, we are providing 14 Mercedes trucks to equip a new SATG logistics company in Faya. These vehicles include flatbed transport trucks, as well as two water trucks and two fuel trucks.
- I understand that these 86 trucks will be headed to the north to increase the SATG’s ability to patrol its borders with Libya and protect Chad from the threat of terrorists and smuggled weapons and explosives from entering Chad.
While this is a large delivery, our partnership goes beyond these trucks. Last week, the second delivery of Toyota David Light Armored Vehicles arrived in Chad, and the final twenty vehicles will arrive next week. These vehicles– 60 in all — will be an important addition for the Chadian forces fighting against Boko Haram. Additionally, we are providing uniforms, boots, first aid kits, and ponchos to support these forces.
Furthermore, we are looking forward to next month’s FLINTLOCK exercise, when Chad will host more than 800 military personnel from more than 23 nations as home of the Flintlock exercise joint multinational headquarters. While primarily focused on military training, Flintlock will also feature medical and veterinarian outreach events.
We are proud to provide Chad this support because you have outstanding soldiers who train with us as partners and friends, and support the same fight against terrorism. We have no better regional partner.
With that General, I am happy to present you with the keys of these eighty-six vehicles. Safe driving to you and your soldiers! On est ensemble!