MORONI, Comoros, July 9, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Officials from the Union of Comoros and United States signed an Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreement July 6 in Kandani, the Comoran National Army of Development (Armée nationale de développement, AND) headquarters, to increase flexibility of military exchanges.
The document was signed by Rear Admiral Alex Krongard from the U.S. Navy, currently the CJTF-HOA deputy commander, and Colonel Youssouf Idjihadi, Chief of Staff of the AND. The signing took place shortly after the archipelago nation’s National Day parade that marked 39 years of independence.
Col. Idjihadi gave opening remarks, and was followed by Krongard, Eric Wong, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy, Antananarivo, and His Excellency Hamada Madi, director of cabinet of the president of the Union of Comoros in charge of defense.
Attendees included an American delegation from the U.S. Embassy, Antananarivo, as well as two of the three Comoran vice presidents, ministers, members of Comoran parliament, and religious leaders.
“Comoros becomes the 100th nation and 20th African nation to sign such an agreement,” Krongard said prior to the signing. “This agreement will make military-to-military exchanges of logistics, support, supplies and services much easier to carry out.”
U.S. Africa Command and Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa will now have the authority and ability to more effectively work with the Comoran military.
“U.S. and Comoran commanders and their forces will now have greater flexibility for exercises and training as as well as responding to emergencies and other unforeseen contingencies,” Krongard said. “It is a very important step as we expand the relationship between our two countries and our two militaries.”
The ACSA allows for support to: combined exercises, contingency and wartime operations, exigent circumstances, humanitarian and foreign disaster relief, peacekeeping operations, and training requirements
“We look forward to working with you on issues associated with regional security so as to enjoy the benefits of liberty and peace.”
In attendance during the agreement signing was Comoran Gendarmerie Lt. Bastua Ahamadi, currently deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, as a liaison officer. At his home station, he instructs English at the National School for the Armed Forces and Gendarmerie (Ecole Nationale des Forces Armées et de la Gendarmerie, ENFAG).
“It is something that the Comoran Army has been waiting for and is a big opportunity,” Bastua said. “The cooperation and advantages of United States — this is something that is going to further our cooperation and be very beneficial for us — not only in terms of equipment, but study.”
“With this cooperation we will improve our skills so that we can be ready for any deployment.”
Specific items authorized for exchange by replacement in kind, equal value exchange, or exchanges through cash, include: Base operations support, billeting, communication, calibration, medical services, port services, maintenance, storage, training, clothing, transportation, ammunition, food and water, petroleum, oil, lubricants, spare parts and components not covered by Foreign Military Sales.
All exchanges are tracked through the ACSA Global Automated Tracking and Reporting System, and exchanges that are not satisfied within one year default to cash exchanges.