Exercise Flintlock 2024 gets underway in West Africa

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Approximately 1 300 participants from nearly 30 international and African nations have come together for Exercise Flintlock 2024, which officially got underway on 13 May in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.

“The Ghana Armed Forces is proud to be hosting this exercise, the biggest of its kind in Africa, for the second time running,” said Ghana Armed Forces Brigadier General Kweku Dankwa Hagan, Representative of Chief of Army Staff – Ghana. “And I believe this is an indication of the healthy and enduring partnership we have strived to establish and constantly developing over the years.”

In Cote d’Ivoire, US Special Operations Command Africa Deputy Commander, US Army Colonel Michael George expressed gratitude to Ivorian partners for serving as hosts for the third consecutive year, the second iteration alongside Ghana.

US Ambassador to the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire, Jessica Davis-Ba, emphasized how the close collaboration efforts throughout the year enhanced the relationship between the US and Ivoirian Special Operations Forces.

“It is through these connections that our military leaders and personnel can more effectively work together to address the many security challenges we face,” said Davis-Ba. “Our shared experiences during this time increase our interoperability and reinforce our partnerships. They allow for improved command, control, communications, and information sharing.”

According to the US military, Exercise Flintlock is designed to strengthen collective security, enable greater cross-border collaboration between African partners, reinforce military bonds and trust of the civilian populace, as well as augment tactics, techniques, procedures, and skillsets to address common threats. Exercise Flintlock is US Africa Command’s premier special operations forces exercise. This year’s edition will conclude on 24 May.

In the leadup to Flintlock, US Special Operations Command Africa, special operation forces from the United Kingdom Ranger Regiment, and the Ghana Armed Forces held a combined training event in in April. Two US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers took part, allowing US Special Operations Command Africa and Ghanaian troops to practice calling in close air support.

Ghana and the United States have long joined forces to combat terrorism and piracy. Cooperation is even more important due to democratic backsliding elsewhere in Africa and the growing threat of extremism on the continent.