Exercise Western Accord, an annual exercise which began in 2012, is designed to increase US and African nations' interoperability and understanding of each other's capabilities and proficiency, enhancing the ability to operate together in limited crises response and overseas contingency operations.
Sponsored by US Africa Command and led by US Marine Corps Forces, Africa, Western Accord 2012 took place in Dakar, Senegal during July 2012. The Exercise included live-fire and combat marksmanship training, peacekeeping operations, disaster response, intelligence capacity building, as well as a humanitarian-civic assistance project that provided primary medical and dental assistance to more than 2,000 residents of the local population.
Approximately 600 US Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen, along with about 600 African partner-nation troops, officially kicked off Exercise Western Accord 2012, with a combined-forces opening ceremony on 9 July 2012. Western Accord 2012 is a multi-national exercise designed to improve interoperability and mutual understanding of West African tactics, techniques and procedures. Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment made up the primary element of the task force along with other reserve component elements from the US Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force from all across the US. Participating African nations included Senegal, Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Gambia. France also participated in Western Accord 2012. In the end, the number of participating personnel in Western Accord 12 rose from the expected 1,200 to 1,500.
Although the exercise was new to Senegal, similar exercises, such as African Lion or Shared Accord, had been successful in other parts of the continent and prepare service members for real-world scenarios. The objectives of Western Accord 2012 included: Preparing US and West African forces for stability operations; conducting humanitarian assistance operations and improving West African Nations capability to respond to complex humanitarian emergencies; training US forces to operate in an austere environment alongside partner nations; and enhancing training facilities for future operations. Infantry battalions from the various nations were the primary training audience for this exercise. However, there was a large humanitarian civic assistance program consisting of both medical and dental cadres that required expertise from various supporting units throughout the US.
A combined-forces closing ceremony officially marked the end of Exercise Western Accord 2012 on the airfield in Thies, Senegal on 19 July 2012. The multi-lateral training exercise included live-fire and combat marksmanship training, peace keeping operations, disaster response, intelligence capacity building, as well as a humanitarian-civic assistance project that provided primary medical and dental assistance to more than 2,000 residents of the local population.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|