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US donates C-130H Hercules military cargo aircraft to the Botswana Defence Force

The United States government has officially donated a C-130H Hercules military cargo aircraft to the Botswana Defence Force to support the country’s defense, humanitarian, and emergency response missions locally and within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

The C-130H aircraft was formerly used by the US Air Force (USAF), and arrived in Botswana on May 24, 2024. It was officially given to the Botswana Defence Force during a handover ceremony on June 27, 2024 at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (GBE).

The handover coincided with the Africa Chiefs of Defence Conference held in Botswana.

🇺🇸🇧🇼 In the words of Botswana Minister of Defence and Security Kagiso Mmusi: “The BDF and this aircraft shall remain a force for good.”

And U.S. Ambassador to Botswana Howard Van Vranken: “Botswana’s continued commitment to democracy, rule of law, and regional security continues… pic.twitter.com/mhzGV6WoqW

— U.S. Embassy Botswana (@USEmbassyBW) June 28, 2024

“The transfer of this aircraft from the United States to Botswana is a testament to how the US and Botswana work together to further a shared commitment to peace, security, and prosperity in the region,” US Ambassador to Botswana Howard Van Vranken said in a statement.

“The United States is honored to play a role in ensuring that the Botswana Defence Force has the capability to perform vital missions not only in Botswana, but when called upon regionally as well,” Van Vranken added.

The C-130H Hercules, worth $30 million, was granted through the US Excess Defense Articles Program, under which the US transfers or hands over excess defense equipment to foreign governments or international organizations.

The US Embassy in Gaborone said the C-130H donation aligns with the US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa, which emphasizes security cooperation and capacity building.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built by Lockheed Martin, and is known for its toughness and versatility. It is used by operators in the United States and internationally to perform a variety of missions, including fighting wildfires, delivering humanitarian aid, and conducting search, rescue, and defense missions.

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