United States Special Operations Command Africa forces concluded Joint Combined Exercise Training (JCET) with Ivory Coast Special Forces (Côte d’Ivoire Forces Speciales Ivoirennes) on 9 July.
The JCET was done in Abijan to provide special operations units specific training to hone military skills. JCETs often enhance US relationships with partner nations by developing and maintaining critical military-to-military connections and improving joint and allied readiness and interoperability, US Africa Command said.
“Training alongside partners not only sharpens our military skills but also builds the relationships we all need in difficult times,” said US Navy Rear Adm. Jamie Sands, commander, US Special Operations Command Africa . “We are proud to work alongside our Ivoirian counterparts as they face violent extremist encroachment on their northern border.”
Today, the level of professionalism required of those who wear a uniform is higher than ever before,” US Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Richard Bell said at the closing ceremony. “Security is fundamental to creating an environment conducive to progress. Mutual trust between authorities and civilians is crucial – it is precisely this trust that the enemy is trying to break.”
According to the U.S. African Command (AFRICOM), this type of exercise provide opportunities for units to work together, learn from each other, build interoperability, and strengthen relationships.
Since 2018, Ivory Coast have been making concerted effort to improve its counter-terror and special operations. On this regard, Ruag Defence France, a subsidiary of Swiss holding company Ruag, which specialize in simulation and training systems was awarded a contract to supply and install combat simulator systems for the Ivorian defence ministry.
The deal was signed by the Ivorian Defence minister Tiéné Birahima Ouattara during the recently held Shield Africa 2021 defence exhibition.
The JCET took place in the advanced Counter-Terrorism Academy (AILCT) built by France in Jacqueville, near Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, at a cost of $22.4 million.
The Counter-Terrorism Academy (AILCT) is used to train the Ivorian Special Forces in Counter-Terrorism and Counter-Insurgency (CT-COIN) Operations, High-value target kill/capture (HVTK/C), hostage rescue operations etc.