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    Justified Accord’s Multinational Staff Officer Course emphasizes cooperation in Kenya

    JA23 Staff Officers Course Group Photo

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Luke Wilson | Justified Accord 23 (JA23) Staff Officer course participants and instructors gather...... read more read more

    NAIROBI, Kenya – Exercise Justified Accord 2023 (JA23) officially kicked off in Nairobi, Kenya, with the start of the multinational staff officer course Feb. 11. With over 100 participants from 17 partner nations, the course runs through Feb. 24 and features classroom style lectures, group discussions and table top exercises designed to test newly acquired skills.

    “The course focuses much of its attention on African Union (AU) and United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping operations,” said Forrest McKinley, exercises contractor (G-7), U.S. Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF). “So we thought, ‘What better venue than Nairobi’s Humanitarian Peace Support School.’”

    The course is taught by the Institute for Security Governance (ISG), based in Monterrey, Calif. The ISG is a component of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency within the U.S. Department of Defense. Its primary role is institutional capacity building through tailored advising, education and professional development programs. AU and U.N. subject matter experts provide key instruction throughout the two week course as well. All instructors must attend the Defense Security Cooperation University as part of their training.

    Blocks of instruction include humanitarian assistance principles, crisis response and the importance of analyzing the operational environment.

    “When our civil affairs Soldiers engage with African partners, it’s critical to intimately understand the background, culture and environment in which they’re accustomed,” said exercise participant U.S. Army Capt. Victoria Rossi, civil affairs operations officer, Civil Affairs East Africa Company, SETAF-AF.

    The course provides many opportunities for multinational partners to work hand-in-hand to solve problems. For instance, instructors incorporate lessons learned from real-world scenarios such as Africa’s response to cholera outbreaks and the recent COVID pandemic.

    Exercise planners reached out to many partner countries, extending invitations to participate in the course. Brazil responded to the call, by sending three officers to Kenya.

    “The Brazilian participation in JA23 has been extremely profitable,” said Col. João Marcelo de Souza Passos, Land Command Operations, Brazilian Armed Forces. “Attendance in the staff officer course is such an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen relationships and exchange experiences with individuals from different nations, mainly with African partners.”

    Group discussions generate diverse perspectives from all over the world and instructors help guide conversations toward positive outcomes.

    “The course suggests that pooling our efforts together to handle contemporary world challenges is the best context when seeking peace and security,” said Marcelo de Souza Passos.

    Generally, international first responders maintain standard operating procedures, but always remain flexible depending on the event, the culture and changing circumstances.

    “This is one of the great things about Justified Accord,” said Rossi. “When we share best practices with one another, we come up with better ways to do things. Crisis-response operations should continue to improve based on this kind of collaboration.”

    While the staff officer course continued, another team from SETAF-AF’s forward-deployed Civil Affairs East Africa unit conducted real-world humanitarian assistance, working alongside Kenyan medics to treat patients at two separate clinics in central Kenya. Together they treated more than 750 patients over a two-day period.

    “The lessons learned at the staff officer course will assist us almost immediately,” said Rossi. “Not just here in Kenya, but with all our future engagements in Africa.”

    JA23 is U.S. Africa Command’s largest exercise in East Africa. Led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), this multinational exercise brings together more than 20 countries from four continents to increase partner readiness for peacekeeping missions, crisis response and humanitarian assistance.​



    Date Taken: 02.24.2023
    Date Posted: 02.25.2023 04:03
    Story ID: 439185
    Location: NAIROBI, KE

    Web Views: 222
    Downloads: 1