News: Marines, West African partners kick off Exercise Western Accord 2012
THIES, Senegal - Approximately 600 U.S. Marines, soldiers, sailors and airmen, along with about 600 African partner-nation troops, officially kicked off Exercise Western Accord 2012, with a combined-forces opening ceremony, July 9.
Western Accord 2012 is a multi-national exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of West African tactics, techniques and procedures.
“Our combined efforts and shared purpose will not only pave the way for future regional exercises but also forge a personal bond amongst our warriors,” said Col. Anthony Fernandez III, the Task Force commander for WA-12.
Western Accord 2012 is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command and led by Marine Forces Africa. The multi-lateral training exercise includes: live-fire and combat marksmanship training, peace keeping operations, disaster response, intelligence capacity building, as well as a humanitarian-civic assistance project that will provide primary medical assistance to the local population.
The exercise hopes to increase U.S. and African nation’s interoperability and understanding of each other’s capabilities and proficiency, enhancing the ability to operate together in limited crises response and overseas contingency operations.
“The next two weeks will be challenging as we work together,” said Fernandez. “Together we shall exchange ideas, plan, train, and learn side-by-side.”
Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment will be making up the primary element of the task force along with reservists from all across the U.S. to include the 4th Medical Battalion, Vermont Army National Guard, and Marine Wing Support Squadron 473. Participating African nations include Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Gambia.
“Our reward will be the successful completion of the exercise and the shared experiences we will gain,” added Fernandez.
Exercise Western Accord 2012 is a multi-lateral training exercise with West African nations to increase understanding and interoperability, prevent conflict by enabling Africans to provide for their security and stability, strengthen relationships with partner nations, and promote and support U.S. national security priorities.
Date Posted:07.10.2012 07:06
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