Department of State Inaugurates New Regional Antiterrorism Training Facility in Senegal

September 6, 2018


Workers put the finishing touches on the U.S. flag decal at the entrance to a classroom and conference center building, part of the new Regional Tactical Training Center in Thiès, Senegal, on August 27, 2018. The new training center was funded by the U.S. Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program and is co-located at a pre-existing military training facility. (U.S. Department of State photo)  

Workers put the finishing touches on the U.S. flag decal at the entrance to a classroom and conference center building, part of the new Regional Tactical Training Center in Thiès, Senegal, on August 27, 2018. The new training center was funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program. (U.S. Department of State photo)  

The Department of State and the Government of Senegal today inaugurated a new regional counterterrorism training facility in Thiès, Senegal.

U.S. and Senegalese officials formally dedicated the new Regional Tactical Training Center, which was funded, constructed, and equipped through the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program. The new center is ATA’s first regional training facility in West Africa.

Once fully operational, the training center, part of a pre-existing Senegalese training facility, will expand ATA’s capacity to train Senegalese and other West African partner nation law enforcement officers at this regional counterterrorism training hub. ATA will provide training in hard skills such as crisis response, explosive incident countermeasures, post-blast investigations, and rural border patrol operations.

The ATA program has been delivering counterterrorism training in Senegal since 1985. The new training center further cements our relationship and underscores the continued close partnership that the United States has with Senegal in advancing the counterterrorism capacities of law enforcement agencies in the region.


Senegalese Gendarmerie officers take “suspects” into custody during a rural border patrol operations course provided by the U.S. Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program at a military training facility in Thiès, Senegal, August 31, 2017. The facility also houses the newly constructed ATA Regional Tactical Training Center. (U.S. Department of State photo)

About the Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) Program
Established in 1983, the Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program is the U.S. Government’s premier counterterrorism training and equipment provider for foreign law enforcement agencies.  

All ATA assistance is delivered within a rule-of-law framework that promotes respect for human rights and fosters development of a self-sustaining capability through best practices such as embedded mentors and train-the-trainer programs. 

ATA receives funding and policy guidance from the Bureau of Counterterrorism and is administered by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and its Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). 

Through ATA, DSS personnel build the critical counterterrorism capabilities of law enforcement partners abroad with both knowledge-enhancing training courses and tactical skills development to detect, deter, and disrupt terrorist activities.

With its cutting-edge curriculum and equipment grants, the ATA program continues to contribute greatly to the security of our nation, our partners worldwide, and overall international peace and stability.


History of the ATA Program in Senegal 

ATA Bilateral Program in Senegal

Units Trained: National Gendarmerie and National Police.

FY 2018 Budget: $6.4 Million.

Senegal has partnered with the United States under the ATA program since 1985.

Since 2013, the ATA program has delivered 25 bilateral courses and consultations and three multi-lateral consultations in rural border patrol operations, tactical boat operations, and improvised explosive device awareness.  

For fiscal year 2019, ATA expects to deliver to its Senegalese partners an additional 18 courses, consultations, and mentorships in topics that include border patrol operations, soft target protection and awareness, and aviation security.  

The opening of the Regional Tactical Training Center (RTTC) further demonstrates that Senegal has become a leading U.S. partner in the fight against terrorism in West Africa. 

ATA receives funding and policy guidance from the Bureau of Counterterrorism and is administered by the Bureau of Diplomatic Security and its Diplomatic Security Service (DSS). 

ATA Focus in Senegal

1. Institutionalization of instructor capabilities to strengthen Senegal’s domestic law enforcement training programs and position Senegal as a regional law enforcement training leader.

2. Rural border patrol operations training to enhance and strengthen Senegal’s capabilities to proactively protect its borders and respond to critical terrorism incursions in order to deter and reduce the flow of foreign fighters, weapons, and other illicit goods.

3. Investigative training to enhance capabilities to deter, prevent, and investigate terrorist planning and operations.

4. Soft target awareness and protection for greater security of non-governmental entities.



Senegal Regional Tactical Training Center

With the success and subsequent growth of its regional training program in Jordan, ATA determined there was an operational need and an opportunity in Senegal to develop a West African regional training center. 

ATA conducted a site survey in March 2015 at the pre-existing Tactical Training Center in Zone 7 (CET-7) in Thiès, Senegal. In January 2018, officials from both nations laid the cornerstone to begin construction of the new facility.

The new construction combined with the tactical capabilities of the pre-existing facility provide a modern regional training hub capable of conducting up to four ATA training programs simultaneously and in a more cost-efficient manner.  

The RTTC includes a 100-person-capacity conference room, two classrooms, and an adjacent 900-square-foot warehouse with a secured armory, storage and staging rooms, a workshop area, and office space. A modular shoot-house with movable and interchangeable walls, an observation catwalk, and roof is planned for completion by September 2019. 

The location of the new training center at the CET-7 affords ATA the use of the pre-existing, on-site tactical training and life-support facilities, including a simulated urban village, pistol and rifle ranges, more than 25 kilometers of terrain for land navigation and tracking, and a demolition range.

Date: 09/07/2018 Description: Under the watchful eye of trainers with the U.S. Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program, Senegalese Gendarmerie officers practice a high-risk vehicle stop at a military training facility in Thiès, Senegal, January 1, 2011. The facility also houses the newly constructed ATA Regional Tactical Training Center. (U.S. Department of State photo) - State Dept Image

Under the watchful eye of trainers with the U.S. Department of State’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program, Senegalese Gendarmerie officers practice a high-risk vehicle stop at a military training facility in Thiès, Senegal, January 1, 2011. The facility also houses the newly constructed ATA Regional Tactical Training Center. (U.S. Department of State photo)