A planning process that started in Angola and then moved onto to Vicenza in Italy has come to fruition with the start of Exercise Central Accord 13 in Douala, Cameroon.
The exercise will enhance the readiness of participating central African countries’ logistic and resupply capabilities as well as aero-medical evacuations and is scheduled to finish on March 1.The exercise is using 102 Air Force Base Airfield as its main staging post.
Some 750 soldiers, the bulk of them from the Cameroon military, are involved in Central Accord. They will have the support and tutoring of about 150 US Army, Air Force, National Guard and Reserves during the exercise. Observers from five neighbouring countries and the Economic Community of Central African States as well as another 19 from Burundi, the DRC, Republic of Congo, Sao Tome and Gabon are in Douala to evaluate and learn from the exercise.
The exercise started last Wednesday with military academics and evolves into a three day field exercise. This will test training in a real situation to ensure future self-sufficiency in the logistic and aero-medical evacuation sectors of operation before it finishes on Friday.
Speaking in support of the exercise, which started in 1996 as Atlas Accord, Brigadier General Peter Corey, Deputy Commander of US Army Africa, said: “The United States’ commitment to the central African region and to Africa is long term.
“As part of that commitment, the US Army works to strengthen relationships with its African partners. They, in turn, co-operate on a regional basis to ensure a more secure and stable Africa.”
US Army Africa hosts the Central Accord exercise annually to enhance military inter-operability, providing an opportunity for African militaries to improve capabilities and giving US forces the chance to improve training and partner co-operation skills.
An indication of the importance attached to Central Accord 13 came from Dr Fritz Ntone Ntone, Cameroon government delegate to the Douala City Council.
He said: “Douala is striving to become the biggest city in the central region of Africa. This means overcoming any challenges which might arise and this exercise with development of medical and logistic support for the sub-region at its heart is one of particular interest.”