OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - United States Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha teams, partnered with host nations of Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia, began training in a multi-nation exercise, Flintlock 2017. Flintlock began in 2005 with Senegal as the host nation. Exercises like Flintlock provide a unique opportunity to enhance regional coordination and address common security challenges.
This year's exercise includes military forces from over 20 nations demonstrating regional cooperation in training in small unit tactics, information sharing, communications, first aid, combat life-saver, weapons training, and other military operations.
Burkina Faso, one of the host nations, held an opening ceremony February 27, 2017 at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso. David K. Young, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso, gave an opening speech where he welcomed U.S. Special Forces from Fort Bragg, North Carolina and thanked military personnel from Burkina Faso for participating in Flintlock 2017.
Flintlock is designed to build the capacity of key partners to provide better security for the civilian population. Strong partnerships are key to denying cross-border attacks by violent extremist organizations.
One of the goals of this exercise is to prepare partner forces for the daunting task of countering extremist organizations, said Mr. Young.
Following Mr. Young, Colonel Major TN Pale, the Burkina Faso Army Chief of Staff, talked about the cooperation between all the participating nations.
We hope all objectives we are trying to reach through this exercise will be achieved, and we also wish the same for the different efforts to secure and defend our territories, said Colonel Major TN Pale.
At the end of the closing comments of the ceremony Colonel Major TN Pale declared Flintlock 2017 exercise in Burkina Faso open.
"Long live the relationship between the different countries and the armed forces of our countries," said Colonel Major TN Pale.