Approximately 1,500 service members from 20 African and western partner nations will participate in Exercise Flintlock 2018 at multiple locations in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Senegal from 9 to 20 April, US Africa Command has announced.
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, Africom said.
Flintlock is U.S. Africa Command’s premier and largest annual Special Operations Forces exercise. In 2018 Flintlock will be hosted by Niger with key outstations at Burkina Faso and Senegal.
The exercise is designed to strengthen the ability of key partner nations in the region to counter violent extremist organizations, protect their borders, and provide security for their people. Additionally, the exercise bolsters partnerships between African and western nation Special Operations Forces and law enforcement agencies, increasing their ability to work together during ongoing multinational operations and in response to crises, Africom said.
Participating African nations include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal. Western partners include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom and the USA.