Burkina Faso and Mauritania are set to host the 2019 Flintlock 2019, an annual African-led, integrated military and law enforcement exercise at multiple locations.
Over 2,000 military personnel from more than 30 African and Western partner nations will participate in the U.S. Africa Command’s (AFRICOM’s) premier and largest annual Special Operations Forces exercise. The exercise will take place from February 18 – March 1, 2019.
Participating African nations include Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cabo Verde, Chad, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia.
Western partners include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, according to AFRICOM’s statement.
“Flintlock has strengthened key partner nation forces throughout North and West Africa as well as western Special Operations Forces since 2005,” according to AFRICOM’s press statement.
In 2019, Flintlock will be hosted by Burkina Faso with a key outstation in Mauritania. The exercise is designed to strengthen the ability of key partner nations in the region to counter violent extremist organizations, protect their borders, and provide security for their people.
“Additionally, the exercise bolsters partnerships between African and western nation Special Operations Forces and law enforcement agencies, increasing their ability to work together during ongoing multinational operations and in response to crises,” according to AFRICOM.