An excellent article today from Nick Turse at The Intercept on the new drone base being built by AFRICOM in Agadez, Niger. According to documents Turse obtained MQ-9 Reapers will fly from the base, with Niger being the only country in the region willing to host this model of drones, which have greater range and strike capabilities than MQ-1 Predators. Unlike the drone facilities in Niamey and the new SOCAFRICA base in Arlit, French forces will not be co-located at Agadez. One nugget from the documents is that the U.S. considered Arlit as an alternative location (albeit on that would be more expensive) but it was requested by Niger that the base be located in Agadez.
From the perspective of my research on logistics contracting both the bases in Arlit and Agadez and the new drone facility in Garoua, Cameroon are interesting in that the military has apparently chosen to utilize the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program (LOGCAP) for support services. These services are provided by Fluor, the prime contractor for LOGCAP in AFRICOM. A 2015 LOGCAP industry day slideshow (see slide 63) indicates that Fluor is providing a wide range of base support at both Garoua and Arlit, including construction, infrastructure maintenance and repair, food service, power generation, fire protection and waste removal.
Additionally, this spring Fluor posted advertisements at its LOGCAP recruiting page for positions in vector management (pest control) at Garoua and maintenance mechanics at Agadez (these advertisements are no longer visible but I saved screen shots of both). Mechanics at Agadez are expected to provide maintenance support for portable Skywatch towers which are being utilized for base protection. These towers are also increasingly used by police to provide crowd surveillance in public places—another example of the merging of military and police tactics and technology in the U.S.
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