US military launches third joint training programme with Mozambique


The United States and Mozambique have launched a third Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) programme, in which the US Army will partner with the Mozambican military to hone special operations skills.

The US Embassy in Mozambique said the JCET programme, the third within ten months, was launched on 31 January.

The JCET programme provides foreign military and US special operations forces an opportunity to exchange knowledge and best practices, the Embassy said. In addition to military training, the two-month US Department of Defence (DoD) JCET exercise will focus on the law of armed conflict, human rights, and medical training.

“As a strategic partner, the United States is committed to ensuring our military-to-military engagements continue during such an important moment for Mozambique’s national security,” said US Ambassador to Mozambique Dennis W Hearne. “Military exchanges like these are important for the security and prosperity of Mozambique and the region.”

This is the third JCET exercise in Mozambique since March 2021, a show of a sustained increase in US-Mozambican security cooperation. In November 2021, Africa Command Commander General Stephen J Townsend visited Maputo, one month after Expeditionary Sea Base USS Hershel “Woody” Williams (ESB 4) made a scheduled port visit.

The DoD also provided tactical combat casualty care and combat lifesaver training courses for the Mozambican armed forces in 2021, which will continue in 2022. Mozambique participated in the second multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express in January 2022 and continues its long-standing participation in the International Military Education and Training (IMET) programme.

The first JCET programme was launched in March 2021 and saw US military personnel train Mozambican marines. This concluded in May and was followed by tactical combat casualty care and combat lifesaver training courses in June 2021. The second round of JCET training took place from August, with US Special Operations Forces training with more than 100 Mozambican commandos and rangers to improve capabilities on the battlefield.

The European Union, meanwhile, recently launched its EU Training Mission Mozambique. This two-year mission began operations in November with the mandate to support a more efficient and effective response by Mozambique’s military to the crisis in Cabo Delgado. Military personnel undergoing training will be part of a future quick reaction force (QRF).