Flintlock 2013 brings African forces together


Promoting regional co-operation and developing inter-operability among Trans-Sahara partner nations was the focus of this year’s Exercise Flintlock in Mauritania.

Fourteen African, European and North American militaries collaborated during this training event to advance and improve counter-terrorism capabilities.

Flintlock is an annual military exercise conducted throughout the Trans-Saharan region of Africa, concentrating on ground, air operations, land navigation, human rights training and collaboration between militaries. It is co-ordinated by Africom and led by a different African country each year. Approximately 1 000 personnel were involved in Flintlock 2013, including participants from north and west Africa, Europe and North America.

Flintlock has been an annual initiative since 2005 across the Sahel in conjunction with international partners to improve capacity and capability to protect civilians.

Flintlock exercises have been conducted across north and western Africa to improve the security capacity of regional military forces. Security is necessary for growth and stability and regional security forces are committed to reinforcing capacity to protect civilians.

Civilian protection is the major focus and this includes medical and veterinary care.

The village of Weizen was chosen as the focus point for healthcare with local military medical professionals providing aid to residents.

On the veterinary side US Army soldiers from 91st Civil Affairs visited the Mauritania Camel corps to finalise a plan for future visits from American vets, working in conjunction with the Mauritania Military to ensure the health and well-being of livestock.