The Somali Maritime Police took part in a navy exercise alongside other forces from East Africa, West Indian Ocean nations, Europe and the United in Djibouti during the seventh annual Cutlass Express maritime exercise.
The Cutlass Express is one of three Africa-focused regional Express series exercises sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet. This is the first time Somalia participated in a multinational security exercise outside its borders in nearly 30 years.
During the security exercise, the Somali Maritime Police force was able to receive hands-on training for visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS) missions in addition to pier-side and at-sea boarding of vessels by the U.S. Coast Guard and Turkish military.
The U.S. Combined Joint Task Force says that the aim of the exercise is to increase capacity and improve combined maritime law enforcement, promote national and regional security and contribute to security force assistance (SFA) efforts throughout the East Africa region.