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US troops continue to support local communities during withdrawal operations > US Air Forces in Europe

US troops continue to support local communities during withdrawal operations > US Air Forces in Europe



As the withdrawal of American forces from Niger continues, U.S. troops at the 201st Air Base in Agadez are working to maintain support for the local community and maintain the partnership between the two countries.

This partnership was on full display during a recent community engagement when the 409th Air Expeditionary Group, along with members of the Forces Armees Nigeriens (Nigerian Armed Forces, or FAN), donated desks to a local school in Agadez.

“Some of our people visited the local elementary school here and noticed that the desks and benches they had were covered in holes and nearly unusable,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Taylor Swank, 724th Expeditionary Air Base Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of structures. “We decided to source wood from the local economy and build a total of 60 desks and benches for them.”

Late last month, the team partnered with FAN to deliver a new stand to the school that will hold the school desks and board for the local community center.

“This was a great opportunity to continue our support of the community here,” Swank said. “On a day-to-day basis, much of our focus has shifted primarily to withdrawal efforts over the last few months, but this interaction was a great opportunity to spend time with our host nation counterparts and the local community to show that we still value our partnership.”

Although the formal withdrawal began earlier this month, the number of U.S. personnel in the country has increased from about 1,100 to 500, with an average of two flights per day, withdrawing equipment and personnel when their specialties are no longer needed.