JINJA, Uganda -- Nearly 200 participants from 10 different countries, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations Mine Action Service gathered for the Justified Accord 18 exercise at the Ugandan Rapid Deployment Capability Center in Jinja, Uganda, June 18-29, 2018.

"This week is about partnership," said Brig. Gen. William L. Zana, the deputy commanding general for Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. "Justified Accord is an opportunity to gain new perspective on common issues. If you want to travel fast, go alone. If you want to travel far, go together."

Justified Accord is an annual, combined, joint exercise that brings together U.S. Army
personnel, African Partner militaries, police, allies and international organizations to promote interoperability between participating nations for peacekeeping operations in the East Africa region.

During the weeklong exercise, participants discuss the importance of peacekeeping operations and work together through computer-based exercises with practical applications tailored to the African Union-led peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

The exercise consists of academic classes, discussion-based practical exercises, and a command post exercise focusing on an AMISOM peacekeeping scenario. The 62nd Ordnance Company, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, 242nd Ordnance Battalion from Fort Carson, Colorado will train along side the Ugandan Combat Engineer Squadron on disposing, neutralizing impact and preventing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used by threat groups.

"The purpose of this exercise is to enhance capabilities to plan, deploy, employ, sustain and redeploy forces in support of the United Nations mandate of the AMISOM," said Brig. General James Ruhesi, Justified Accord 2018 exercise co-director, during his opening ceremony speech.

The AMISOM mission provides support to the Federal Government of Somalia in its efforts to stabilize the country, facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid, and create necessary conditions for the reconstruction and sustainable development of Somalia.

Justified Accord 2018 gives participating nations an opportunity to work together and discuss the possibility of combined deployments, which could have a direct effect on security strengths through out East Africa.

Many of the participating nations deploy their forces together in support of
peacekeeping and anti-violent extremist organization operations. Their ability to work together in a dynamic environment directly strengthens security throughout Africa.

"Peacekeeping operations brings us all to a globally shared and desired outcome," said Zana. "We want to provide a safe and life for our homes, our families and our future.