Ribbon Cutting of Boat Maintenance Facility in St. Louis – Remarks by Ambassador Mushingi, April 17, 2019

Ambassador Mushingi
Visit to St. Louis Naval Base for ribbon cutting of boat maintenance facility in St. Louis
April 17, 2019 09:30

(As prepared)

 

Senegalese Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Momar Diagne.
Distinguished colleagues.
Thank you for coming today.

The United States is proud to celebrate the opening of this maintenance facility with the Senegalese Navy today. The Navy Base in St. Louis controls the maritime frontier with Mauritania as well as the mouth of the Senegal River, and is extremely important to countering the flow of illicit material across those borders. This maintenance facility will help to ensure that the Metal Shark patrol vessels provided by United States remain capable of effectively providing maritime security for years to come. This 480 million CFA facility represents a substantial investment into improving the maritime security of the region, which will only become more important as production of offshore natural gas begins in the coming years. When combined with the Maritime Operations Center next door and associated communications and radar equipment that were also procured with U.S. assistance, the Metal Shark patrol vessels provide a formidable asset for countering illicit trafficking in this beautiful part of Senegal’s coastline.

This facility demonstrates America’s commitment to assisting the Senegalese Navy. Just as importantly, by employing local labor for its construction, the United States has ensured that the Senegalese civilian workforce also benefited from this project.

We appreciate the close friendship we have developed over the years, and the future cooperation that will result from that friendship. Our objectives align with those of the Senegalese military in that we believe a strong and stable Senegal is important in maintaining regional stability. I thank you for your partnership, and hope that this facility will meaningfully serve to assist in your efforts to maintain Senegal’s maritime security, vital to the regional security of West Africa.