Botswana Defence Force, U.S. to Conduct Joint Military Exercise


Botswana will host a joint military exercise known as Southern Accord 12 between August 1 and 17, involving 700 Botswana Defence Force (BDF) members and 700 American military personnel.

The exercise, announced yesterday, will take place on and around the Thebephatshwa Air Base. Joint exercise activities conducted during Southern Accord 12 will enhance the capabilities of military personnel for both countries in a variety of areas, including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, anti-poaching, peacekeeping, and convoy operations, as well as aero-medical evacuation, according to US Army Africa.

The United States has in the past two years conducted similar joint military exercises with African countries such as South Africa, Mozambique, Tunisia, Uganda, Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

In partnership with the Botswana Defence Force, U.S. Air Forces Africa will take part in MEDLITE 12.

U.S. Air Forces Africa, headquartered at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, is the Air Force component to the United States Africa Command, the U.S. regional command that oversees and coordinates U.S. military activities in Africa.

MEDLITE 12 is the latest in a series of exercises involving U.S. military forces and partner militaries in Africa with the aim to establish and develop military interoperability, regional relationships, synchronization of effort and capacity-building. The exercise will improve the readiness of both countries’ medical personnel and will consist of classroom instruction, a mass casualty and aero-medical evacuation exercise.

Additionally, BDF and U.S. personnel will conduct outreach programs in several rural communities, including Malwelwe, Mantshwabisi, Sernane and Mowane. These outreach activities will include dental and medical examinations, veterinary assistance as well as other medical procedures.