This expensive new air base is now the hub for operations against terrorists in Africa
The government of Niger has invited the United States to set up a massive military presence in Africa- and the obscure (and expensive) base is the forward line in the quiet war against terror and near-peer threats in Africa.
Known as Nigerien Air Base 201, or simply “201,” the unsuspecting air hub costs around $30 million a year to maintain, and will run up a tab of around $280 million by 2024.
The airfield itself is particularly useful for drone operations in the region, though the runway is capable of accepting all sorts of aircraft.
But why Niger?
Located in West Africa, the landlocked country is prime real estate for the US military, who can keep tabs on extremist Islamic terror cells in the region, as well as near-peer threats setting up shop on the continent, such as Russia and China.
With a relatively low-threshold Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) setup and a superb location, the base doesn’t require much to keep going- with the exception of a few facelifts and overhauls to bring it up to American tastes.
The true gem of the base is its proximity to nearly everything in the region, and the benefits that such closeness can provide for scenarios involving troops in contact or medical evacuations.
According to the Air Force Times, base 201 is shaping up to provide the US with a more offensive posture in the region, one that could see the increase of armed drone use against bad actors.
© 2019 Bright Mountain Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
The content of this webpage may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written consent of Bright Mountain Media, Inc. which may be contacted at [email protected], ticker BMTM.