US Marine Corps Gen. Michael Langley, commander, US Africa Command, and US Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Michael Woods, command senior enlisted leader, traveled to Côte d’Ivoire and Togo, July 24-27, to further cooperation between the United States and the two countries. In the past year, General Langley has prioritized travel to Africa to meet with partner nations.
The two met with host nation civilian and military leaders, US State Department officials, and US service members.
“Côte d’Ivoire and Togo are on the front lines of addressing complex issues like the expansion of violent extremist organizations and maritime security threats in the Gulf of Guinea,” Langley said. “Security, stability, and economic prosperity in West Africa are interests shared by the United States and our African and international partners. We are stronger when we work toward these goals together.”
“Service members from the United States and our counterparts in Coastal West Africa regularly partner in security initiatives and multinational AFRICOM exercises, like Flintlock and Obangame Express,” Woods said. “This week, we were able to highlight their professionalism and look to future security, training and professional military education cooperation.”
In Côte d’Ivoire, Langley, Woods and US Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Jessica Davis Ba met with Vice President Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, Minister of Defense and State Téné Birahima Ouattara and Chief of Defense Staff Lt. Gen. Lassina Doumbia.
The leaders discussed Côte d’Ivoire’s role as a valued bilateral, regional and global leader in the promotion of economic prosperity. Further highlighted were the country’s efforts to counter the spread of violent extremism and Côte d’Ivoire’s leadership during regional multinational exercises.
During the second leg of the trip in Togo, the leadership team and US Ambassador to Togo Elizabeth Fitzsimmons met President Gnassingbé, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Tassounti Djato, and Minister of Security and Civil Protection Brig. Gen. Damehame Yark. They discussed Togo’s leadership in maritime security and whole-of-government efforts to bolster regional security.
Throughout their trip, Langley and Woods also met with US Embassy teams and recognized US service members for their accomplishments.