On Friday, September 25, 2015, the Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission, Todd Whatley, and Benin’s Minister of Interior, Placide Azandé, presided over the closing ceremony of a four-week border security training in Benin. The Marines and sailors with the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa came to Benin for a month-long theater security cooperation mission to build the USSF’s capacity to counter illicit trafficking along the country’s borders. During the past month, Marines and sailors taught combat marksmanship, patrolling, ambush techniques, close-quarters combat, tactical questioning and the operations’ orders process to 150 USSF students.
In his remarks, Chargé Whatley said “We all need to work together to develop a multi-agency, multi-national, coordinated approach to provide the necessary training and mentoring to the West African law enforcement community to strengthen their ability to intercept at all borders (land, sea and air) and at all checkpoints to target drug traffickers, their brokers, and terrorist groups.”
U.S. Marines and sailors accompanied Benin’s National Surveillance Police (USSF) to Jesu Jro, Benin, Sept. 24, to conduct a combined border surveillance training exercise. After spending a month learning U.S. Marine infantry tactics, the USSF leadership wanted the students to train in Jesu Jro to show Beninese living in the border village the government is serious about reducing criminal activities. The USSF acted out scenarios in vehicle checkpoints, entry control points and detainee handling.