• GABORONE, Botswana - Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD), Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, presents a gift to Major Israel Mbangwe, Task Force Commander for the Chobe Sub Sector of northeastern Botswana, in front of a Botswana Defence Force Air Arm C-130 transport aircraft that flew the ambassador from Kasane to Gaborone during her first visit to the country in early April 2010. Huddleston visited Botswana to meet with various officials and observe and gain a better appreciation for BDF operations.

    Huddleston makes first visit to Botswana

    GABORONE, Botswana - Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD), Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, presents a gift to Major Israel Mbangwe, Task Force Commander for the Chobe Sub Sector of northeastern Botswana, in front of a Botswana Defence Force Air...

  • KASANE, Botswana - Task Force Commander Maj. Israel Mbangwe, 15 Infantry Battalion, Botswana Defence Force, briefs Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa on operations in the Chobe Sub Sector of northern Botswana during her first visit to the country in early April 2010. Ambassador Huddleston paid a visit to the headquarters at Kasane to become more familiar with BDF operations, including anti-poaching operations intended to protect Botswana's diverse wildlife from predation.

    Huddleston makes first visit to Botswana

    KASANE, Botswana - Task Force Commander Maj. Israel Mbangwe, 15 Infantry Battalion, Botswana Defence Force, briefs Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Africa on operations in the Chobe Sub Sector of northern...

  • Maj. Mbangwe, Ambassador Huddleston and Lieutenant Colonel Wyatt enjoy a light-hearted moment while listening to tales of camp life at a BDF field operating base in north eastern Botswana. Soldiers use the base camp to conduct patrols into the surrounding bush as part of the Government of Botswana's highly successful anti-poaching campaign. BDF soldiers frequently deploy around the country on "real world" operations to defend the nation's sovereignty, protect its diverse and populous wildlife and support civil authorities.

    Huddleston makes first visit to Botswana

    Maj. Mbangwe, Ambassador Huddleston and Lieutenant Colonel Wyatt enjoy a light-hearted moment while listening to tales of camp life at a BDF field operating base in north eastern Botswana. Soldiers use the base camp to conduct patrols into the...

  • KASANE, Botswana - Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD), Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, and members of her party board a BDF boat for a trip up the Chobe River in north eastern Botswana. Moments after the party climbed aboard, a heavy rainstorm soaked everyone on board and hampered visibility until the Engineer Detachment boat pilot steered the craft up river away from the downpour.

    Huddleston makes first visit to Botswana

    KASANE, Botswana - Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD), Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, and members of her party board a BDF boat for a trip up the Chobe River in north eastern Botswana. Moments after the party climbed aboard, a heavy rainstorm...

GABORONE, Botswana - Deputy Assistance Secretary of Defense for Africa, Vicki Huddleston, visited government officials and the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) during her first visit to the country April 8, 2010.

Ambassador Huddleston, the senior most Department of Defense official to visit Botswana in the past few years, met with various officials during visits to Gaborone and Kasane.

Huddleston met first with the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Ambassador Seretse, to discuss common areas of interest and potential areas of future cooperation. Huddleston then visited the Chief of the Botswana Defence Force, Lieutenant General Masire, at Sir Seretse Khama Barracks in Gaborone. Masire, who will retire in July, thanked Ambassador Huddleston for the U.S. military's long friendship and assistance in the development of the Botswana Defence Force since its founding in 1977.

Ambassador Huddleston's next stop was at the new Defence Command and Staff College (DCSC) in Gaborone. She met the Commandant, Brigadier General Goitseleene Morake, and his staff. At Morake's invitation, Huddleston served as a guest lecturer for the current class of 34 students. In her lecture, focused on U.S. defense policy in Africa, Huddleston highlighted U.S. defense interests in Africa, including transnational threats like terrorism, illicit trafficking and climate change, regional and ethnic issues and diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria and diarrheal infections that undermine security and stability of states and entire regions.

The staff college, now in its third academic year, has quickly become a premier military institution and one of the finest staff colleges in Africa. Temporarily housed at a leased former primary school, the DCSC will move to a purpose-built facility at Glen Valley (15 kilometers north of Gaborone) in 2012. At Glen Valley the DCSC will train not only Batswana officers but will also begin taking foreign student officers from throughout Africa.

On the final day of her visit Huddleston visited the Chobe Sub Sector headquarters near Kasane, where the Botswana Defence Force provided an operations overview detailing BDF anti-poaching operations and support to civil authorities in the region. The visit also included a tour of the BDF camp, used to patrol for poachers and protect Botswana's diverse wildlife from predation. In Botswana, the protection of wildlife and the environment are considered to be in the interest of national security.

The final event hosted by the BDF was a boat trip up the Chobe River with a BDF engineer detachment based at Kasane. Members of the detachment transported Huddleston and her party along the Chobe River where she was able to see the variety and abundance of BDF-protected wildlife along the river banks.

A BDF official remarked that their hope is that Huddleston's trip to Botswana will prove useful to the long-established relationship between the BDF and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Page last updated Tue April 13th, 2010 at 19:54