NOUAKCHOTT, MAURITANIA (April 26, 2015) – U.S. Army Brig Gen. Donald C. Bolduc, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command – Africa, arrived here yesterday to commemorate the inauguration of a new Mauritanian military unit that was years in the making.
Mauritania’s new Action Civilo-Militaire (ACM) unit was inaugurated in a ceremony today attended by U.S. Ambassador to Mauritania, Larry André; Chief of Mauritanian Land Forces, Brig. General Mohamed Cheihk Mohamed Lemine; and Brig. Gen. Bolduc.
U.S. Army Civil-Military Support Elements (CMSE) have assisted the Mauritanian Army to build a civil-military capability during successive deployments since 2013. As a result, Mauritanian Land Forces personnel have learned new skills and participated in international exercises, such as Flintlock, an annual regional exercise among African, Western, and U.S. counterterrorism forces.
“This new unit is a unique symbol of strength and bilateral cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Mauritania and the United States of America,” Amb. André exclaimed.
Civil-military units have supported military operations for decades. Their unique mission is to build rapport with civilian populations, support for military operations, and to deter terrorist activities. These units frequently provide medical and veterinary care and other civil affairs projects in support of community stabilization activities for vulnerable and indigenous populations.
“This unit has succeeded far beyond the training objectives to reach where we are today: a new, permanent and independent unit ready to conduct community outreach and positively affect the lives of Mauritanians for generations,” said Brig. Gen. Bolduc.
In his remarks, Brig. Gen. Bolduc expressed the pride he shares with his Mauritanian counterparts in the new unit’s demonstrated capabilities.
“What you are developing when you conduct veterinary engagements, lead construction projects, build clinics and schools, and ensure local communities have access to clean water and the ability to provide for healthy children…is a lasting bond between the people, the government and the guardians of peace: you, the people in uniform who make up the Mauritanian military and the ACM. You are the physical presence that says, “We’re all in this together.” You are the leaders who represent what’s possible when everyone comes together with the same concept: The idea that a stable government, acting in the best interest of the people, is the best way forward for your family, your community and your nation.” Brig. Gen. Bolduc concluded.
Mauritanian Land Forces Operations Officer, Col. Abba Ebetty, summed up the event with an eye toward the future.
“Today’s ceremony is only the beginning,” Col. Ebetty said. “We hope to do much more in the future.”