The United States’ yearly counter-terrorism training program for African forces Exercise Flintlock 2022, began on Sunday in Ivory Coast.
The training program, known as Flintlock, will bring together more than 400 soldiers from across West Africa to bolster the skills of forces, some of which are under regular attack by armed groups linked to al Qaida and Islamic State.
The goal is “to strengthen the ability of key partner nations in the region to counter violent extremist organizations, collaborate across borders and provide security for the people of Africa”.
Flintlock fosters a collaborative community across nations and is a multi-national exercise consisting of partner nations training at in Côte d’Ivoire Flintlock helps strengthen the ability of allies and partners to counter violent extremism and provide security for their people.
Central to this year’s training is coordination between different forces fighting the same enemy.
“A main focus of Flintlock is information sharing. If we can’t communicate, we can’t work together,” said Admiral Jamie Sands, Commander of the U.S. Special Operations Command Africa, at the opening ceremony.
Historically, nations that have attended this exercise focused on small-unit tactics that include live-fire ranges, mounted and dismounted movements, and reconnaissance. This year’s Flintlock exercise builds on the success of previous exercises and focus and on the transition from tactical execution to operational planning and multi- domain integration.
The operation has been held every year since its inception in 2005. This year, participating nations include Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Niger, joined by Western countries such as Canada, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. It ends on February 28.
The 405th Army Field Support Brigade, US Army was tasked with providing base life support services for Exercise Flintlock 2022 as the program management office for the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program on the African continent.