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Maritime forces from East Africa, West Indian Ocean nations, Europe, the United States as well as several international organizations successfully conducted the sixth iteration of the annual multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express, from 31st January to 9th February 2017.
Cutlass Express 2017, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF), was designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity and promote national and regional security in East Africa as well as inform planning and operations. The exercise tested participating nations’ ability to respond to illicit trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing and search & rescue situations. Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) of participating nations exercised tracking and reporting procedures by use of simulating suspect vessels.
Together with EASF, participating nations included Comoros, Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Uganda, Canada, Denmark, France, The Netherlands, Turkey and the United States. Cutlass Express 2017 was conducted in Djibouti and Mauritius where officers in both operational hubs carried out their clearly defined tasks effectively.