Enhancing Peace and Security in the Eastern Africa Region

Exercise Cutlass Express 2013

Col_IbrahimOfficers from the Eastern Africa Standby Force (EASF) joined other participating nations in the Exercise Cutlass Express 2013 which took place from 11th to 18th Nov 2013.

 Exercise Cutlass is an annual East Africa event which focuses on addressing piracy and other illegal activities and increasing regional cooperation and interoperability to enhance maritime safety and security activities through information sharing and coordinated operations among international navies.

 It is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and involves East Africa maritime forces in a regional partnership with US and European navies, and is yet another pillar that demonstrates U.S. and participant-nation commitment to regional stability and maritime security.

The 2013 Exercise sought to enhance the interoperability and proficiency of East African nations in concert with US and European partners to counter illicit activities and enhance safety in the Territorial Waters and Exclusive Economic Zones of East Africa.

It was conducted in four locations both at sea and ashore. Underway operations took place in the Territorial Waters of Djibouti, Seychelles, Kenya, and Tanzania. The at sea events were coordinated and directed by the Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centers and Naval Operations Centers in Djibouti, Victoria, Mombasa, and Dar Es Salaam. Participating nations included Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Kenya, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, The Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and the United States. The European Union participated as observer.

Representing the Director of EASFCOM, Col Dr Ibrahim Mohamed Abdelrahim, Head of Liaison, led the EASF team of four officers from the Maritime Cell and eleven representatives from Member States. In his opening statement, Col Abdelrahim highlighted and appreciated the role and support provided to the Maritime Cell of EASF by USA, and emphasized the growing threats from piracy and other illegal activities that need urgent attention. He affirmed the willingness of EASF to take up responsibility to plan and conduct a similar Exercise planned for 2014 as was agreed in a recent event in Italy.

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