Protecting Our Personnel
The changed security environment in the Sinai since 2004 has impacted the MFO mission, requiring operational changes and measures to promote the safety of our personnel. Special contributions by the U.S. Government and the U.S. Army have enabled the MFO to meet the costs of extensive physical protection measures enacted since then.
To ensure the safety and security of the men and women, civilian and military, who execute the mission, the MFO is obliged to obtain the financial resources necessary to provide requisite equipment, facilities and protective measures. In addition, the MFO must also provide for the health and welfare of its Sinai members, fund all mission-related activities and maintain its readiness to serve the Parties and meet their requirements such as the additional responsibilities assigned to the MFO in 2005 and 2007 related to the Border Guard Force mission along the Gaza-Egypt border.
To enhance the safety of our personnel in this high threat mission area, the MFO purchased a number of fully armored vehicles with funding provided by the Netherlands in FY 2008, Spain in FY 2009 and the United States in FYs 2010, 2011 and 2012. Additional fully armored vehicles will be purchased, and existing ones maintained, using funds provided specifically for force protection purposes by the United States government.
The MFO established an independent Force Protection Fund in 2008 following a financial contribution by the United States to be used for unanticipated security and force protection costs. Each subsequent year, the U.S. Congress has reaffirmed its commitment to the MFO with additional contributions. This fund is not tied to a specific financial year and is managed and accounted for separately from operating funds. Commencing in MFO FY 2013, the Government of Australia pledged to contribute $500K to the MFO for Force Protection enhancements for three fiscal years. In MFO FY 2016, that amount was increased to $667K for a further three years.