Djibouti: US military resumes air operations after suspension

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The US military has resumed air operations in Djibouti days after grounding all of its aircraft in the East African nation.

Two US aircraft were involved in separate accidents last week, prompting Djibouti’s government to request the country’s military halt all flying operations at Camp Lemonnier. The US complied with the request although US defence officials say operations have now been resumed.

US air operation resume in Djibouti

Djibouti’s government request US air operations to be halted after two separate incidents involving US aircraft last Tuesday. In the morning, a Marine Corps Harrier jet crashing at the Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport. The pilot was able to eject from the craft before it crashed and nobody was hurt in the incident and on structural damage to the airport has been reported.

Later the same day, a Marine Corps CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter was damaged while landing during a military exercise and two civilians were reportedly injured by debris from the aircraft’s rotor wash.

While the US promptly complied with the government’s request to suspend all air operations, it worked with the government to get approval for flights on a case-by-case basis to ensure vital operations weren’t compromised.

While the US military cancelled the Alligator Dagger exercise both aircraft were participating in on Tuesday, it managed to conduct an airstrike in Somalia on Thursday, in support of the Somali government’s fight against al-Shabaab.

Featured image: Air Force Reserve Command, Public Domain

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.