We are privately owned and not affiliated or endorsed by any government agency.

Take the Benefits Quiz

Cooperative security location (CSL)

Definition A Cooperative Security Location (CSL) is a facilities agreement between the United States and a host nation, used for a broad range of military interactions. It’s typically smaller than a military base and requires a minimal number of permanent personnel. Its main purpose is to provide operational access for U.S troops during regional crises, […]


A Cooperative Security Location (CSL) is a facilities agreement between the United States and a host nation, used for a broad range of military interactions. It’s typically smaller than a military base and requires a minimal number of permanent personnel. Its main purpose is to provide operational access for U.S troops during regional crises, humanitarian relief operations or major exercises.

Key Takeaways

  1. Cooperative Security Location (CSL) typically refers to facilities located outside the United States that are used by U.S. forces on a periodic basis, providing a strategic presence abroad without a permanent military footprint.
  2. Such locations are usually host-nation facilities, and they play a crucial role in US foreign and security policy. They are established through agreements between the United States and the host nation, highlighting the importance of diplomatic relations and international cooperation.
  3. Although CSLs are not U.S. territory, and are often minimally staffed, they can be used for a variety of activities, including training missions, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, intelligence operations, and contingency operations.


A Cooperative Security Location (CSL) is crucial in military operations for its strategic role in facilitating swift and efficient responses to various global security threats.

These locations serve as forward operating sites that allow the U.S.

military and its allies to provide rapid crisis support and deliver humanitarian aid whenever necessary.

They significantly enhance the military’s operational reach by decreasing response time and logistical complexities related to long-distance dispatch of resources.

Moreover, by promoting cooperative relationships with host nations, CSLs contribute towards strengthening international security alliances and diplomatic relationships, thereby playing a critical role in maintaining geopolitical stability.


Cooperative Security Location (CSL) is a key term in military operations that designates a facility used by United States forces located in foreign countries to enhance military reach and capability. Essentially, they serve as strategic locations that enable US and allied forces to respond quickly to potential crises and carry out missions of security, humanitarian aid, peacekeeping, or other military purposes.

These locations are not fully staffed or occupied on a continuous basis but serve as prime locations to facilitate rapid reaction to different crises. The CSLs are agreed upon under host country approval and often operate within existing facilities like airports or military bases, allowing the country’s forces to ‘pre-position’ supplies, equipment, and limited troop units.

Owing to this, they also serve as strategic logistical hubs where the military could refuel, restock, or temporarily station troops in transit. The CSLs fundamentally assist in extending the reach and speed of the US military response, enhancing regional stability, influence and fostering closer relations with host nations.

Examples of Cooperative security location (CSL)

Cooperative Security Location Manta, Ecuador: The U.S. military had established a Cooperative Security Location (CSL) at an Ecuadorian Air Force base in Manta. This location was primarily used for surveillance and detection missions targeting drug trafficking vessels in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. However, in 2009, the government of Ecuador did not renew the lease for the U.S. military, and it subsequently ceased all operations at this CSL.

Cooperative Security Location Comalapa, El Salvador: This is a current CSL used by the U.S. military. It plays a crucial role in counter-narcotic missions across Central America. The CSL at Comalapa allows for surveillance and interdiction of drug trafficking across the region by providing logistics support, infrastructure, and quick response capabilities to U.S. aircraft.

Cooperative Security Location Dakar, Senegal: This location provides the U.S. military with a foothold in Africa, allowing troops and supplies to be deployed more rapidly to regions in crisis. It supports air operations for U.S. Africa Command, serving as a logistics hub, and provides critical support to ongoing U.S. military humanitarian operations and peacekeeping efforts on the African continent.

FAQs about Cooperative Security Location (CSL)

What is a Cooperative Security Location (CSL)?

A Cooperative Security Location (CSL) is a facility used by U.S. forces located outside of the United States. These locations are generally secured by host-nation forces and contain minimum U.S. military support presence. They provide contingency access and are sometimes referred to as ‘lily pads’.

What is the purpose of CSL?

The main purpose of a CSL is to provide strategic locations where the U.S. can rapidly deploy troops and supplies to respond to different security situations. It allows the military to maintain a forward presence and capability without the need for extensive full-scale facilities.

How many CSLs are there?

There is no exact total number as the CSLs often change based on the international security environment and U.S. needs. They are typically located in strategic locations around the world to allow for a rapid military response if required.

Who maintains the CSL?

CSLs are generally maintained by the host-nation where the CSL is located. However, minimal U.S. military support presence is also typically provided for its upkeep and maintenance.

Do CSLs operate independently?

No, CSLs do not operate independently. They function as part of a global network of U.S. power projection capabilities. This allows the United States to respond to emergencies and crises efficiently.

Related Military Operation Terms

  • Military Installations
  • Strategic Location
  • Logistic Support
  • Host-Nation Agreement
  • Global Response Capability

Sources for More Information

  • U.S. Department of Defense: This is the official website of the U.S. Department of Defense which maybe contain the necessary information about CSL.
  • Federation of American Scientists: This organization provides well-researched information on various topics including military operations and terms.
  • Council on Foreign Relations: This site hosts articles, papers, and reports on a vast variety of subjects including military bases and operations.
  • RAND Corporation: This organization offers a wealth of research and analysis on many topics including military strategies and operations terms.

Benefits.com Advisors

With expertise spanning local, state, and federal benefit programs, our team is dedicated to guiding individuals towards the perfect program tailored to their unique circumstances.

Rise to the top with Peak Benefits!

Join our Peak Benefits Newsletter for the latest news, resources, and offers on all things government benefits.

Related Articles