Justified Accord 2018 Comes to a Close
Uganda Defence Force soldiers marching band sound off during the closing ceremony for Justified Accord 2018 at the Ugandan Rapid Deployment Capability Center, Jinja, Uganda, June 18, 2018. Justified Accord is a two-week combined and joint exercise de... (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

JINJA, Uganda -- Participants from 10 countries celebrated the conclusion of Justified Accord 2018, a combined-joint military exercise focused on the African Union Mission in Somalia at the Uganda Peoples Defense Force Center in Jinja, Uganda, June 29.

Justified Accord 2018 focused on bringing 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.

JA18 provides an opportunity for regional African partners to develop relationships, enhance collaborative capabilities and hone mission command skills required to conduct peacekeeping operations in Somalia.

The 12-day exercise, which was constructed into three phases, consisted of academic classes, discussion-based practical exercises, and a command post exercise focusing on an AMISOM peacekeeping scenario. The first phase, academics, was designed to provide a baseline of knowledge on the AMISOM mission and the conditions within the operational environment in Mogadishu. Phase two covered the East African standby force six-step EASF process that focuses on the integrated staff process during the operation's planning phase. The planning phase produced an operation order for an inject driven plan, which was executed during phase three.

"Command post exercise Justified Accord 18 has been a success and has achieved the following: It enabled the staff to establish a multi-national sector headquarter; participants were able to conduct planning according to the EASF six step process; and participants were able to exercise how to provide command and control to assigned forces, integrate operations with other companies in a multi-national peace support operations environment," said Brig. General James Ruhesi, the Justified Accord 2018 exercise co-director. "The exercise built military-to-military relations, interoperability, operations and integration, military awareness and publication within Uganda."

During the scenario execution phase, the 62nd Ordnance Company, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, 242nd Ordnance Battalion from Fort Carson, Colorado, trained alongside the Ugandan Combat Engineer Squadron on disposing, neutralizing impact and preventing improvised explosive devices used by threat groups. A combat life saver course was given by Staff. Sgt. Daniel Ruizreyes, the U.S. Army Africa medical noncommissioned officer in charge.

"In the past two weeks, we dove into doctrine," said Brig. Gen. William Prendergast, the U.S. Army Africa deputy commanding general. "We discussed how the international Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations and the African Mission in Somalia fits into our collective goals. We discussed how to develop command messages and effective methods for communicating to our target audiences. We have learned the significance of having public support and how fighting as a team increases our effectiveness."

JA18 brought together senior leaders from East African nations and the United States during the regional leader's seminar. This enabled senior leaders to discuss security challenges within the region and focus on future strategies to combat regional challenges.

Before the CPX participants departed, each conducted an after action review to discuss positive outcomes and list necessary improvements for future exercises. Participants were encouraged to bring the skills and lessons learned from the exercise back to their home countries.