Today, May 13th 2015, U.S. Brigadier General Donald Bolduc, the Special Operations Command-Africa (SOCAF) commander based in Stuttgart, Germany, met with Chef d’Etat-Major General des Armees (CEMGA) Major General Brahim Seid Mahamat in N’Djamena to discuss the United States’ ongoing partnership with Chadian military forces. CEMGA works directly with President Idriss Deby to ensure the safety and security of Chadian citizens. U.S. military members have been working with Chadian units to increase local military capacity and share important lessons learned during regional efforts to counter violent extremist organizations such as Boko Haram. Recent exchanges have included training on civil-military affairs, human rights and emergency response.
“Our partnership with the Chadian military has been incredibly rewarding,” said General Bolduc. “Not only has there been a marked increase in the Chadian military forces’ capability to contain and counter violent extremist organizations, we’ve also seen these professionals take a leading role in the multi-national efforts to stop Boko Haram.”
This type of meeting is not a rare occurrence for US military officials. Earlier this year, Chad hosted the FLINTLOCK 2015 exercise, a multi-national Special Operations Forces exercise aimed at increasing interoperability between the 22 nations who participated in the event. The three-week event involved more than 1,200 military members working in remote outstations, operations centers and coordination cells across Chad. Brigadier General Zakaria Ngobongue, the exercise director, led the effort in Chad through the event’s regional coordination center.
While in N’Djamena, General Bolduc also took the opportunity to meet with Brigadier General Abderamane Youssouf Mery, Commander Special Anti-Terrorist Group (SATG) and Chadian Special Operations Forces counterparts, and toured local bases. “Our relationship with Chadian officers and enlisted personnel has become stronger with every visit. As always, the Chad military and civil government officials have been incredible hosts – we’re deeply thankful for the opportunity to meet with our friends and colleagues today.”