Planners Craft Justified Deal 23 African Military Exercise | Article






U.S. Army soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade meet with Kenyan Defense Force soldiers in Nairobi to prepare for a bilateral exercise during Justified Accord, March 13, 2022 The exercise’s justified agreement enables the United States and African partners to support peace and stability in the region. (US Army photo by Capt. Abigail Hammock)
(Photo credit: Captain Abigail Hammock)


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NAIROBI, Kenya – More than 80 participants from the United States, African partner nations and multinational forces gathered in Nairobi from October 24-28 to plan Exercise Justified Accord 2023 – the largest military training exercise in the world. ‘US Africa Command in East Africa.

JA23, scheduled for late January through late February, is designed to prepare the U.S. Joint Force, increase multinational interoperability in crisis response and counterterrorism operations, and prepare regional partners for US-mandated missions. UN and the African Union.

JA 23 will include a multinational command post exercise, field training, live-fire and maritime exercises, as well as special operations and cyber courses. Humanitarian and civic assistance projects are also planned.

“The mid-planning event is a critical event that refines exercise activities and support requirements while providing an opportunity for direct coordination with our U.S. and multinational partners,” said F. Austin Blessard, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF) lead exercise planner for JA23. “As such, it also provides critical information relating to personnel, equipment and other logistical movements that ensure the success of the exercise.”

Kenya will host activities primarily in Nairobi and Isiolo, with additional events in Uganda, Rwanda, Botswana and Djibouti. The exercise is expected to bring together around 800 participants from 20 partner nations.

Exercise planners took feedback from former YA participants and incorporated emerging technologies into this year’s exercise. Cybersecurity awareness as well as cybersecurity and assessment will be presented.

Uganda and Kenya will host multinational cyber training in preparation for the exercise. Both defense forces will defend the network against simulated cyberattacks.

“Cyber ​​threats have become part of everyday life, and Africa is not immune,” said Bruce Barry, exercise planner with Army Cyber ​​Command. “The more we share cybersecurity best practices with our African partner nations, the better we and our partners will be able to protect the civilian and military networks that are critical to our combined security.”

Two U.S. Army National Guard units will also participate, helping with infrastructure repair, medical triage and exercise support.

The Nebraska National Guard has partnered with Rwanda since 2019 through the Department of Defense’s National Guard Bureau State Partnership Program. Their role in the exercise will include engineering projects and a medical exchange with a mock casualty evacuation.

Massachusetts National Guard soldiers will serve as the support group for the joint exercise, sharing an SPP relationship with Kenya dating back to 2015.

“Exercise planners determined early in the process that participating units needed a central center for logistics and personnel support,” said U.S. Army Maj. Matthew Compton, Deputy Chief of Staff Massachusetts National Guard operations. “The Joint Exercise Support Group is really a collection of leaders and soldiers from across our state who have been specifically selected to support Exercise Justified Accord.”

The National Guard conducts military engagements through the SPP to support defense security objectives, strengthen partnerships, and increase interoperability among the military.

“Justified Accord is the first exercise in East Africa that demonstrates the willingness and ability of partner nations to work together to improve readiness and interoperability while increasing the crisis response capacity of all participating nations,” said Blessard.

SETAF-AF coordinates U.S. Army activities in Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Europe and Africa. U.S. Army activities include military readiness exercises across the continent, hundreds of security force assistance engagements, crisis response, and sustained posture support. These activities strengthen partner networks in Africa, build partner capacity against regional and global security threats, and provide strategic access to U.S. forces in contingency operations.

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