U.S. Africa Command is hoping to finish two new air bases in 2019, one in Niger and one in Somalia, to stage operations against militants in the region.
Niger Air Base 201, a future hub for armed drones and other aircraft, was supposed to be completed this year. The region’s difficult weather and harsh conditions are pushing completion back to the middle of 2019, officials told Air Force Times.
Air Base 201 will eventually house the U.S. armed drone mission in Niger that currently operates out of Niger’s capital, Niamey.
In the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia, a former Soviet-built air base called Camp Baledogle is being refurbished and converted to better handle the evolving multinational mission in the country.
“The runway repairs were just contracted this fall, and are not scheduled to be completed until later in 2019,” Air Force Maj. Karl Wiest, an AFRICOM spokesman, said.