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U.S. Troops from Niagara Falls Airbase Leave Niger Following Military Coup

U.S. Troops from Niagara Falls Airbase Leave Niger Following Military Coup


Niagara Falls airbase troops have completed their mission in Niger and are returning home after the United States decided to pull out following a military coup. The Pentagon has announced that the final pullout of U.S. troops and most equipment will be completed in August.



Last fall, members of the 107th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard at Niagara Falls airbase were deployed to Niger for a six-month mission. Their objective was to use MQ-9 Reaper drones to monitor ISIS-related terrorist groups in North Africa. The U.S. military had a security agreement with Niger's leaders to carry out this mission.



However, the situation took a turn when a military coup took place in Niger last summer. The new military leaders demanded that U.S. forces at two key airbases leave the country by September. Interestingly, the new Niger government welcomed Russian mercenary forces while asking the United States to depart.



This turn of events left the 107th troops feeling somewhat isolated with an extended deployment. Concerns from their families prompted U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Nick Langworthy to seek more information from the Pentagon last month.



Now, the U.S. Defense Department has made the decision to withdraw from the bases in Niger. Sources have confirmed that the remaining members of the 107th are heading back to Niagara Falls. The Pentagon, which invested over $100 million in building and equipping the Niger bases, expects the final pullout and equipment removal to be completed by August.



In the meantime, U.S. diplomats with the Biden Administration and military leaders are actively exploring other African nations that may be more receptive to hosting similar surveillance missions as U.S. forces leave Niger. The search for alternative locations aims to ensure the continuity of monitoring ISIS-related terrorist groups in North Africa.



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