GAKO, RWANDA- The Rwanda Defence Force (RDF), the Netherlands, and U.S. Army gathered in Gako, Rwanda Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 to discuss the upcoming annual combined, joint U.S. Army Africa-led exercise Shared Accord 2018, scheduled to take placed in August.SA18 is a multinational command post exercise (CPX) that brings together contributing nations to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) to exercise realistic scenarios related to the peacekeeping mission in Central Africa.MINUSCA troop contributing nations will come together through scenarios that will enhance staff capability to respond to United Nations and African Union peacekeeping operations, exercise regional interoperability and build stronger partnerships.This year's event will be hosted by the RDF."I feel happy and excited to see this exercise fulfilled," said Brig. Gen Innocent Kabandana, Rwanda Defence Force Exercise director.
"Shared Accord 18 will add more value to the signature way our contingents are performing with various partners around the world," said Kabandana.For the past few decades, the U.S. has partnered with African militaries in security cooperation events. U.S. and African partnership leads to an increase in readiness and interoperability while increasing the capacity for regional and transregional security."Collaborating during Shared Accord is important because it brings together many nationalities and people who share experience, expertise, concerns and are all involved in solving a problem with the best solutions. It strengthens relationships with partnering nations and this is important," Said Kabandana.Planners at the event discussed support requirements for the upcoming exercise and worked through details to generate a training experience for over 200 representatives of 18 MINUSCA troop contributing countries, regional partners, police, intergovernmental, non-governmental and international organizations.In February, the multinational team is scheduled to meet again for the main planning event."The Rwanda Defence Force has an exemplary record in Peace Keeping missions and providing stability across the continent," said Lt. Col. Timothy Collier, United States Army Africa, SA18 exercise senior mentor. "Exercises such as SA18 are valuable opportunities to work with our partners to strengthen relationships and improve mutual capabilities on the African continent," said Collier.