U. S. military commander for Africa command in Banjul for joint military exercise

11:20, July 22, 2011      

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The commander of the U. S. Africa Command, General Carter Ham, is in the Gambian capital Banjul for the on-going joint military exercise involving 40 African countries.

Ham on Thursday called on Gambian Vice President and Minister of Women's Affairs Aja Dr Isatou Njie-Saidy at State House.

Accompanied by the chief of defense staff of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), Lt. General Masanneh Kinteh, Ham was at State House to express his sincere appreciation to the vice president and the government of Gambia for successfully hosting the military exercise to be concluded on Thursday.

"It has been a wonderful opportunity for the 40 different nations to assemble here in The Gambia and participate in this very important military training. It would not have been possible without her support as well as the support of the chief of Defense Staff, Lt. Gen. Kinteh and the entire government," he told reporters.

General Ham said the vice president of Gambia was pleased with the exercise, and went on to disclose that they discussed with the CDS of GAF the possibility of conducting a similar military exercise in the near future.

He stated further that the U. S. and Gambia have for long enjoyed cordial ties, which they want to continue. "So we will look for areas where we can increase our cooperation," he added.

For his part, Lt. General Massaneh Kinteh said the move will further act as a springboard in consolidating the already existing military ties between the two countries.

He said. "This African partnership has even brought us closer and not only closer, but has brought on board other partners, that on our side would not have been able to meet. So having 40 countries in The Gambia for this exercise is a great honor for us as it has moved our relations to another level."

The exercise, which was organized by the U. S. government, the U. S. Department of State for Defense and the U. S. Africa Command, was meant to give the participating nations a unique opportunity to once again test their military communication equipment with a view to harmonizing their interoperability for future support to the African forces operations.

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