March 30, 2023: U.S. Ambassador Henry Jardine and U.S. Brigadier General Peter G. Bailey from the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) handed over a Maritime Video Downlink System to the Chief of the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF), Brigadier Michael Rosette, during an official ceremony this morning. The ceremony was held at the Seychelles Air Force Hangar.
In 2022, the U.S. Navy installed the $1 million Maritime Video Downlink System to enable the secure transfer of Maritime Domain Awareness information from the Seychelles Air Force’s Dornier 228 aircraft to shoreside units. The donation of the equipment is part of the United States’ active foreign military financing program. The system supports shared U.S. and Seychellois goals of strengthening regional maritime security and enhances the capacity of the Seychelles Defense Forces as a partner and leader in the region’s efforts to combat illicit activity in the Indian Ocean.
The Maritime Video Downlink System was installed during two visits in 2022, the first in April and the second in October. It includes handheld receivers that will be used by personnel on the ground and receivers installed on the bridge of two Seychelles Coast Guard vessels. The receivers will increase situational awareness by allowing personnel on the vessels to see real time images of Dornier radar.
This is the second Maritime Video Downlink System that the United States has installed on Seychelles Air Force aircraft. The first system was installed on another Dornier aircraft in the Seychelles Air Force inventory in 2015.
During his remarks, Ambassador Jardine said, “The United States and Seychelles are partners in combatting piracy, countering illicit trafficking, and ensuring maritime safety and security in the region. With this equipment, the Seychelles Defence Forces will improve their ability to provide a real time picture to shore side forces and produce an understanding of the situations and conditions in an area.”
The handing over ceremony was the first meeting between the Seychelles Defence Forces and Ambassador Jardine. The turnover represents another step in the United States’ and Seychelles’s collaborative efforts to ensure regional Maritime Security.