Address by His Excellency David Gilmour,
Ambassador of the United States of America
at the official delivery of Defender patrol boat
to the Togolese Navy
- Monsieur le Chef d’Etat Major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises,
- Monsieur le Représentant du Ministre de la Défense et des Anciens Combattants,
- Monsieur le Directeur Général du Port Autonome de Lomé,
- Messieurs les Chefs d’Etat Major de l’Armée de l’Air, de la Marine Nationale, de l’Armée de Terre,
- Monsieur le Directeur Général de la Gendarmerie et de la Police Nationales,
- Messieurs les Officiers des Forces Armées Togolaises,
- Mesdames et Messieurs les Autorités du Port Autonome de Lomé,
- Messieurs les représentants du gouvernement et des institutions de la République,
- Messieurs les Représentants du Corps diplomatique,
- Messieurs les instructeurs de la Société SAFE (Safety All Around Flotation Equipped),
- Chers Collègues de la Mission des Etats-Unis à Lomé et à Accra,
- Honorables invités,
- Mesdames et Messieurs,
It is a great honor for me to be here today as we reinforce the strong partnership between the United States of America and Togo. The United States is dedicated to helping Togo development into a prosperous and secure nation. A cornerstone of our commitment to Togo is our military cooperation. We focus on education, military training, and equipment donations to enhance Togo’s ability secure its waters, borders, deploy on peacekeeping missions, and prevent terrorism.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight one of the great success stories in the region: the emergence of Togo as a safe anchorage. The government of Togo had a vision to make Lome a logistical hub, but in an area plagued by piracy, it understood it needed to modernize its Navy.
The United States took a long-term approach to support the government’s plans to control its waters. In 2010, we donated two Defender Class patrol boats. In 2014, we donated a Metal Shark patrol boat and provided a boathouse and equipment. Throughout this period, we have provided training and education opportunities to many sailors. Togo is now the preferred choice for many commercial ships to drop anchor while they wait to deliver goods along the coast. The Togolese people can be proud that their Navy has created one of the safest harbors in the region.
It is in support of this partnership, I have the honor to present to you, on behalf of the Government of the United States of America, another Defender Class patrol boat and spare parts. The United States Government knows the Togolese Naval Forces will use this new boat to stop criminals of all kinds who continue to frequent West African territorial waters.
I cannot end without thanking the Togolese authorities. Their assistance in all the formalities allowed the Togolese sailors to benefit from a practical training of piloting and maintenance of the boats. Thank you.