• A role player looks on as Soldiers from Burkina Faso, Senegal and the U.S. Army approach a mock village during a situational training exercise during Exercise Western Accord 14, June 24. Exercise Western Accord 14 is a U.S. Army Africa-hosted annual joint training and partnership exercise between the United States and Economic Community of West Africa States, which is designed to increase interoperability between military forces and ensure the common ability to conduct peace operations throughout Western Africa.

    16 countries train, familiarize, partner during WA14

    A role player looks on as Soldiers from Burkina Faso, Senegal and the U.S. Army approach a mock village during a situational training exercise during Exercise Western Accord 14, June 24. Exercise Western Accord 14 is a U.S. Army Africa-hosted annual...

  • Soldiers from 1st Bn., 28th Inf. Regt., 4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div. interact with role players during a situational training exercise in Exercise Western Accord 14, June 24. Exercise Western Accord 14 is a U.S. Army Africa-hosted annual joint training and partnership exercise between the United States and Economic Community of West Africa States, which is designed to increase interoperability between military forces and ensure the common ability to conduct peace operations throughout Western Africa.

    16 countries train, familiarize, partner during WA14

    Soldiers from 1st Bn., 28th Inf. Regt., 4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div. interact with role players during a situational training exercise in Exercise Western Accord 14, June 24. Exercise Western Accord 14 is a U.S. Army Africa-hosted annual joint training and...

  • Soldiers from Ghana practice individual squad movements with U.S. Army Soldiers from Co. Attack 1st Bn., 28th Inf. Regt., 4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div. during Exercise Western Accord '14, June 17, 2014. Exercise Western Accord is a partnership exercise between the United States and ECOWAS, which is designed to increase interoperability between military forces and ensure the common ability to conduct peace operations throughout Western Africa.

    16 countries train, familiarize, partner during WA14

    Soldiers from Ghana practice individual squad movements with U.S. Army Soldiers from Co. Attack 1st Bn., 28th Inf. Regt., 4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div. during Exercise Western Accord '14, June 17, 2014. Exercise Western Accord is a partnership exercise...

  • Soldiers from 1st Bn., 28th Inf. Regt., 4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div. interact with role players during a situational training exercise in Exercise Western Accord 14, June 24. Exercise Western Accord is a U.S. Africa Command-sponsored and U.S. Army Africa-hosted exercise between the United States and Economic Community of West Africa States, which is designed to increase interoperability between military forces and ensure the common ability to conduct peace operations throughout Western Africa.

    16 countries train, familiarize, partner during WA14

    Soldiers from 1st Bn., 28th Inf. Regt., 4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div. interact with role players during a situational training exercise in Exercise Western Accord 14, June 24. Exercise Western Accord is a U.S. Africa Command-sponsored and U.S. Army...

  • Sgt. John Vaughan, team leader with Attack Co., 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, points out a squad of soldiers conducting a tactical move to a Senegalese soldier during a live fire training exercise in support of Exercise Western Accord, June 19. Exercise Western Accord is a U.S. Africa Command sponsored annual joint training partnership exercise between the United States, the Economic Community of West African States and partner nations. The exercise, held in Senegal this year, is designed to increase interoperability between military forces and ensure the common ability to conduct peace operations throughout western Africa.

    16 countries train, familiarize, partner during WA14

    Sgt. John Vaughan, team leader with Attack Co., 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, points out a squad of soldiers conducting a tactical move to a Senegalese soldier during a live fire training exercise in support of Exercise...

  • Soldiers from Burkina Faso and the U.S. interact with role players during a situational training exercise during Exercise Western Accord 14, June 24. EExercise Western Accord 14 is a U.S. Army Africa-hosted annual joint training and partnership exercise between the United States and Economic Community of West Africa States, which is designed to increase interoperability between military forces and ensure the common ability to conduct peace operations throughout Western Africa.

    16 countries train, familiarize, partner during WA14

    Soldiers from Burkina Faso and the U.S. interact with role players during a situational training exercise during Exercise Western Accord 14, June 24. EExercise Western Accord 14 is a U.S. Army Africa-hosted annual joint training and partnership...

In partnership with Senegal and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), U.S. Army Africa conducted U.S. Africa Command's Exercise Western Accord 14 to enhance ECOWAS ability to provide mission command capability to support regional peace operations. Training focused on developing the ability to plan, deploy, employ, sustain, and redeploy a rapid deployment force in response to a regional crisis. Western Accord 14 is a key element in a broader series of military-to-military activities to demonstrate the strong partnership between the U.S and western regional African partners, and all of the participating militaries.

In an ongoing partnership, the U.S. along with 16 other countries participated in Exercise WA 14 in Dakar, Senegal from June 16-27.

"For the past few decades, America has partnered with African militaries in medical capacity-building events and various training engagements across a number of key skill sets," said Col. Robert Dixon, strategy and plans director, USARAF. "During part one of the exercise, ECOWAS and partnering nations received academics that took them through the UN standards for mission analysis and focused on collective tasks, functional, and staff procedures in support of Command and Control of a peacekeeping operation based on real world events. During the command post exercise (the second part of the exercise), they prepared and executed their plan to move forces into a contested area, defeat the threat, and restore basic services and the rule of law while setting the stage for national reconciliation."

The 'Accord' series is important not only to the U.S. Army, but to the AFRICOM leadership as well, noted Dixon.

"We do the exercise for the AFRICOM commander," he said. "Primarily what we're doing is training a joint force, familiarizing ourselves with the African environment, and working in Africa with our African partners.
Working with countries participating in UN or African Union peacekeeping operations in countries like Somalia, Malawi, the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the Central African Republic helps with shaping exercises to replicate real-world environments that better prepares countries for the type of environment they will go into," Dixon said.

For the first time in the exercise's history, Dixon said Western Accord 14 has included non-government organizations, the civilian and police components along with the military component replicating peacekeeping operations in Africa to strengthen the relationship between the authorities and enhance regional security in West Africa.

"The Army's framework is divided into division headquarters, brigade headquarters and then a Joint Task Force is created," Dixon said. "Within the construct of the UN and African Union is a mission headquarters with three components -- a police component that includes both the regular police and Gendarmerie. Next, the civilian component trying to do peace-keeping operations is a critical aspect of the training. And finally, there's a force component which we associate with a tactical or operational level headquarters of some type."

"Often when we're out there with soldiers from these countries, we're seeing the force components. What is very advanced and different about Western Accord 14, and where the other 'Accords' are moving toward is that we added the representation of the civilian components and police components to the exercise to really shape the training exercise to replicate the actual mission set."

WA 14 was the largest exercise of its kind, and participants will continue to build upon partnerships established during this exercise with the Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Netherlands, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, and UN during future exercises. Already scheduled are Central Accord 15 (Gabon); Eastern Accord 15 (Uganda); Southern Accord 14 (Malawi); and Western Accord 15 (Niger).

Page last updated Thu July 3rd, 2014 at 00:00