Remarks by Colonel Scott Morgan, SDO/DATT
Colonel Si Fall, Directeur du Matériel des Armées
Officers, NCOs, and Soldiers of the Senegalese Armed Forces,
Thank you for your warm welcome to the logistics center here on Camp Lemonier. This is my first visit to Lemonier, and it is a happy occasion for the official turnover ceremony of 23 American HMMWVs to the Senegalese Armed Forces. Please allow me to say just a few words to put this occasion in the context of the strong partnership that Senegal and the United States have forged to meet our common security objectives in Africa.
First, I think it would be useful to tell everyone why we decided, together, that these 23 military vehicles would be of great use in meeting our common objectives. It was two years ago, the Senegalese Armed Forces leadership approached one of my predecessors who had asked his Senegalese colleagues if there were any operational shortfalls that the United States military could help to remedy. Mobility was the Senegalese response.
Senegal has well over 3,000 Senegalese military and constabulary forces deployed on peacekeeping operations throughout Africa, and is the eighth largest contributor in the world for peacekeeping operations. Additionally, the Senegalese Armed Forces must ensure security and be prepared to respond to any sort of crisis throughout across a broad expanse of national territory. Conditions range from desert to Savanah to wetlands. And this often includes response to unforeseen emergency conditions. You may recall that two years ago, we were particularly concerned about the spread of Ebola and about reinforcing the capacity of partners like Senegal to prevent the spread of a pandemic.
The HMMWV is renowned as a platform for delivering personnel and material to varied and austere environments. In fact, the term “HMMWV” is actually an acronym that stands for High Mobility Military Wheeled Vehicle. So we decided, together, that the provision of a sizeable quantity of HMMWVs would be an effective way to help meet Senegalese operational requirements.
Two years later, I stand before you humbled by the efforts of my predecessors, by our Senegalese partners, and by our US Office of Security Cooperation to make this occasion possible. I especially want to thank LCDR Nick Borman and his team for their tireless efforts to. I hope that this occasion demonstrates that the challenges of navigating our United States security assistance bureaucracy are worth the results. Thanks to your perseverance, we are able to provide our Senegalese Armed Forces partners with a significant mobility enabler valued at about 1 billion francs CFA.
And for our Senegalese Armed Forces partners here today, it gives me great satisfaction to know that these vehicles will serve to enable your operational capacities. In my younger days, the soldiers in my infantry company used to say to me, “Sir, riding is better than walking.” And whether it is far away in Darfur or right here in Dakar, I hope that these vehicles will enable you to be more effective in your operational performance.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to make a few remarks here today. And may God bless you and keep you safe in all your endeavors.