in Defence

US shuts down its drone base in Ethiopia

Posted 3 March 2016 · Add Comment

The US Air force has shut down its drone base in southern part of Ethiopia, Arbaminch town that it has been using to fight the islamist militant group in Somalia, Al Shabab, for the past four years, reports Kaleyesus Bekele

In 2009-2010 the US Air Force invested millions of dollars to upgraded the Arbaminch Airport runway and built a small annex to house a fleet of drones called Reaper that can be equipped with Hellfire missiles and satellite-guided bombs. The air force deployed the drones in early 2011 and has been flying them since then on counter terrorism missions as part of a US led proxy war against an al-qaeda affiliate in warn torn Somalia.
The US drone base compound in Arbamich airport is about half an acre in size and is surrounded by high fences, security screens and lights on extended poles. Arba Minch is located about 300 miles south of Addis Ababa and about 600 miles west of the Somali border.
The drones began flying missions in early 2011 over neighboring Somalia, where the United States and its allies in the region have been targeting al Shabab, a militant Islamist group connected to al-Qaeda.
Reliable sources told The Reporter that the US Air force recently dismantled the Arbaminch drone base and redeployed its military personnel who have been working at the base. Sources said the drone clamshell-shape hangar has been removed and the US military personnel have packed and left the base.
The US embassy in Addis Ababa confirmed that there are no US military personnel in Arbaminch. In a written response to The Reporter spokes person of the embassy, David Kennedy, stated that US military personnel are no longer in Arbaminch.
“In our ongoing bilateral discussions on our defense cooperation, we reached a mutual decision that our presence in Arbaminch is not required at this time. As we work with our African partners, our mutual needs change over time and a determination was made that our use of facilities in Arbaminch is no longer necessary,” Kennedy said. He said that the US presence in Arbaminch was never meant to be permanent.
Ethi¬o¬pia is a longtime U.S. ally in the fight against al-Shabab, the militant group that has fomented instability in war-torn Somalia and launched attacks in Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere in the region.
Ethiopian defense forces first invaded Somalia in 2006 and rooted out the Islamic Court Union (ICU), the precursor of Al Shabab, from Moquadishu. Later on members of the ICU regrouped themselves and formed Al Shabab. With a series of military operations Ethiopian defense forces managed to weaken the militant group.
The US government provides military aid to Ethiopia. Last year the US air force donated a C130 Hercules military transport plane to the Ethiopian Air force.

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

ASKY to resume flights to Free Town, Monrovia and Banjul in November

Ethiopian strategic partner, ASKY Airlines, has finalized preparations to resume services to and from the West African cities of Monrovia, Freetown and Banjul effective November 1, 2017.

SITA CEO rallies airlines and airports in community fight against cyber threats

The air transport industry has cybersecurity as a top priority with 95% of airlines and 96% of airports investing resources into major cybersecurity programmes or pilots over the next three years.

RwandAir to operate direct flights from Brussels to Kigali by the end of October

RwandAir will make the flight schedule of the Brussels route non-stop to Kigali, effective October 31, 2017.

Germania flight lands in Sharm El Sheikh

Germania flight took off from Berlin-Schönefeld headed for Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt with 201 passengers on board. With a second aircraft now based at Schönefeld, Germania is flying this route, among others, once a week during the winter

Air Mauritius takes delivery of its first A350 XWB

Air Mauritius has taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-900 aircraft, opening a new chapter for the Indian Ocean carrier. The aircraft, leased from AerCap, was delivered during a ceremony held in Mauritius today.

MOMook to make 43 Air School training operations more efficient

MOMook, an intelligent business and training management software developer, and 43 Air School, the largest aviation training provider in South Africa, have signed a contract on the use of MOMook software for management of pilot

Aviation Africa SK18418
See us at
Aviation Africa BT18418Global Aerospace BT28218AfBAC Expo BT2017