US, Djiboutian Military Officials Sign Service Agreement
The Djiboutian and U.S. militaries signed an extended agreement, February 1 in Djibouti, Djibouti, that allows both nations to continue working together in support of lasting stability for the Horn of Africa.
The agreement is an extension of the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement. This pact is a mutual accord between the Djiboutian Ministry of Defense and Department of Defense and allows both nations to request a variety of services from one another.
"A cross-service agreement with Djibouti provides another avenue to share capabilities during our mutual engagements," said Rear Admiral Michael Franken, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa commander. "It will improve the manner in which the U.S. can obtain Djibouti's assistance in operations as well as providing my staff options to support Djibouti in security matters."
Both Djibouti and the U.S. benefit from this agreement, said Terrence Bender, U.S. Africa Command Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement manager,
"What (the nations) can do is exchange logistics, support, supplies and services from each other," he said.
There can be a cash exchange upon request between the militaries, said Bender. There can also be an equal value exchange; as long as an equal value can be reached, the trade can happen. For example, one military may decide to provide the use of a building for the use of the other military's vehicles.
Both sides are involved in making the agreement work.
"We can sit down, negotiate an exchange where we can receive something of equal value for the services provided …which helps us to increase capabilities through exchanges. I think (this agreement) is beneficial for both nations," said Bender. "It builds our partnerships. That's the part I enjoy."
In light of recent budget constraints, the arrangement can ease the burden on tax payers. The ability to explain the benefits to Djiboutian and American leadership will increase the visibility of the program, and once utilized, can save both nations money, said Bender.
This agreement will be a positive influence on the training and mutual aid between the U.S. and Djiboutian militaries, said U.S. Air Force Major General Barbara Faulkenberry, U.S. Africa Command Logistics director .
"I am really honored to conclude this very important acquisition agreement that allows military to military collaboration," said Faulkenberry. "This is an important day for us."