First U.S. military base in Niger completes withdrawal

  • Published
  • 406th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
U.S. and Nigerien military personnel held a ceremony to mark the completion of the U.S. military's withdrawal from Air Base 101 in Niamey, Niger, on July 7, 2024.

The complete withdrawal from Air Base 101 comes a month after the first departure of C-17 Globemaster III aircraft from the base in early June. Over the last month, U.S. forces have successfully withdrawn all personnel and essential assets from the base and have handed control of U.S. areas within the installation back over to the Nigerien government.

“Today we reflect positively on the past 15 years of security cooperation and shared sacrifice by U.S. forces and Nigerien forces,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Kenneth Ekman, U.S. Africa Command Director of Strategy, Engagement and Programs. “I am grateful for the close collaboration with our Nigerien hosts to support the safe, orderly and responsible withdrawal of U.S. forces commemorated today at Air Base 101.”

The successful departure of U.S. personnel and assets from Air Base 101 was made possible through the Joint Disengagement Commission’s cooperative and transparent efforts. They included provisions for a small contingent of additional U.S. personnel to provide logistical support, ensuring the efficient withdrawal of remaining forces and assets.

“We have yet to define the next chapter of our bilateral security relationship with Niger. As we do, our close collaboration on the Air Base 101 withdrawal will help set the tone for those discussions.,” said Ekman. “That next chapter will also involve other regional militaries as we adjust our presence and activities in West Africa to pursue mutual security objectives. United States Africa Command will maintain our focus on building partner capacity and strengthening relationships and trust. We are committed to listening to West African militaries to best support their partner-led, U.S. enabled operations to counter violent extremism and improve security and stability.”

With Air Base 101’s withdrawal now complete, the focus moves to Air Base 201 in Agadez, which has simultaneously been prepped for a safe and orderly withdrawal by Sept. 15, 2024.