DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (July 13, 2016) -- Marking the first day of U.S. Army Africa’s annual exercise, Eastern Accord 2016, the opening ceremony brought combined and joint military senior leaders together to the Tanzanian Peacekeeping Training Centre, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on July 11.
The two-week exercise is intended to build readiness, maintain U.S. and African coalition partnerships, facilitate interoperability between militaries and build capacity. The countries participating are Ethiopia, Djibouti, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Other organizations present are the African Union, the East African Standby Force, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, for a total of over 200 personnel.
“The command post exercise, Eastern Accord 2016, is designed to bring a real time reflection on peace support operations, counter terrorism and humanitarian assistance,” said Hussein Ali Mwinyi, Minister of Defense and National Service. “The exercise is quite encompassing having participants from nine countries.”
Members of the 1st Battalion, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, along with members of the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa provide logistical support including transportation, communications support, sustainment and various other support for the participants.
“We are excited to increase our knowledge of both the African Union and Eastern African Standby Force’s planning processes and standard operating procedures,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Jon Jensen, U.S. Army Africa deputy commanding general and co-exercise director. “We all benefit from exercises like this as our nations and militaries become stronger and better equipped.”
“This will allow them to further professionalize themselves and their forces in process as well as deepen existing relationships and creating new relationships amongst the (nine) countries that are participating in this exercise,” he said.
The multinational training exercise involves three phases: academics, planning process and final scenario exercise. For the academics portion of the exercise, subject matter experts will take turns sharing their best practices in various subjects to lead up to developing a plan for the final scenario scheduled in the second week of the exercise.
“The achievements gained at the end of this exercise will remind the participants on the contemporary security challenges we face today involving security threats such as civil wars, terrorisms, piracy, human trafficking and religious conflicts,” said Mwinyi.
“The new challenges to internal security have compelled us to invest and work in partnerships to train in operations other than war. This will equip and instill skills and capacities to our men and women in uniform to face these undeniable cultural challenges,” he continued.
Mwinyi concluded the ceremony by presenting the Eastern Accord 2016 flag to the audience and participants to represent the commencement of the exercise.
“When we work together, the trials we each face become more manageable and we all advance,” said Jensen.