Kenya hosts elite soldiers for largest US-led East African military drill

US Africa Command’s largest multinational exercise in East Africa has begun in Kenya, bringing together 1,000 personnel and units from 23 nations, whose aim is to prepare regional partners for UN and AU mandated missions, and increase multinational interoperability in support of humanitarian assistance, disaster response and crisis response.

Code-named “Justified Accord”, the operation is scheduled to run for 11 days, from February 26 to March 7. Led by the US Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), this multinational exercise builds readiness for the US joint force.

“Participation in regional security and crisis response exercises demonstrates our commitment to our partner nations,” said US Army 2nd Lt. Alex Machado, platoon leader from the Massachusetts National Guard. “Justified Accord showcases the desire of US and partner nations to increase readiness and interoperability when it comes to regional security and crisis response,” said F. Austin Blessard, SETAF-AF lead exercise planner for JA24.
The Somali soldiers will also be part of elite soldiers drawn from three continents organized by the United States and African partners. The drill will reportedly include scores of Somali commandos who have received US training. In recent years, given East Africa’s struggles with multiple safety concerns including a lethal al-Shabaab insurgency, the US has decided to spearhead these sorts of drills in the region. While the main events will be held in Nairobi and Isiolo, the soldiers will also travel to Uganda, Rwanda, Botswana and Djibouti for additional events, including field training and live-fire exercises, multinational command post exercise, maritime exercises, and special operations and cyber courses.