ACCRA, Ghana -- Ghana Armed Forces partnered with participants from other African nations, European allies and U.S. Army Africa to kick off Exercise United Accord 2018 at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana, July 16.

"I'd like to thank our Ghanaian counterparts for hosting this world class, two-week exercise," said Brig. Gen. Eugene J. LeBoeuf, the U.S. Army Africa acting commanding general. "We look forward to conducting this mission and returning home to share the lessons learned and new knowledge with our home station."

For two weeks, more than 800 military personnel will participate in UA18. The exercise consists of a command post exercise, company field training exercise, or FTX, focused on peacekeeping operations, a medical readiness exercise, or MEDRETE, and a Ghana-led Jungle Warfare School training, or JWS.

The CPX is designed to increase the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali's, or MINUSMA's, capacity to plan, deploy, sustain and redeploy a combined joint task force in support of U.N. and African Union-mandated peacekeeping operations.

The FTX, JWS and MEDRETE will build participants' readiness, capacity, security and stability through combined unit level tactics, individual soldier skills and medical practices in forward-deployed environments.

The purpose of United Accord 18 is to promote interoperability between U.S. and partner forces and organizations, advance troop contributing countries' capacity to support MINUSMA and similar operations, and increase exercise participants' abilities to execute MINUSMA sector headquarter tasks, while enhancing positive multilateral relationships.

"Ghana is a defense and economic leader in the region and a valued partner, and it is because of these strengths that Ghana is an ideal host for an exercise like United Accord," LeBoeuf said.