The Unites States-led military training exercise has begun in the West African Nation of Burkina Faso. The U.S.-led Flintlock 2019 military exercise began on Monday will bring together more than 2,000 service members from more than 30 African and western partner nations from 18 February to 1 March.
Gen. Moise Minoungou, Burkina Faso’s chief of staff, said in a statement that Flintlock was the most important annual military exercise carried out by the U.S. Special Forces Command in Africa.
Among the African countries taking part in the exercise are Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Chad, and Tunisia. Participating Western countries include Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the U.K., and the U.S.
The aim of the exercise especially this year is to boost the ability of countries in the region to fight terrorist groups, protect their borders, and ensure public security.
Terrorism is a major menace in the region as countries fight differently affiliated terror groups among the Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram as well as other homegrown jihadi groups.
Flintlock is an annual, African-led, integrated military and law enforcement exercise that has strengthened key partner nation forces throughout North and West Africa as well as western Special Operations Forces since 2005.