Cyber focus unveiled at Justified Accord 23 final planning event

By Capt. Joe LegrosDecember 21, 2022

Justified Accord '22
U.S. Army Soldier, Spc Joseph Martinez from 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade, takes fire during a force on force field training exercise with Kenyan Defence Force Soldiers during the final exercise of Justified Accord, March 16, 2022. Exercise Justified Accord allows the US and our African partners to support enduring peace and stability in the region. Over 800 personnel participated in the exercise which included a multinational field training exercise and a command post exercise Feb. 28-March 17, 2021. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army Capt. Abigail Hammock) VIEW ORIGINAL

NAIROBI, Kenya — U.S. and Kenya military planners gathered in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 5-9, to finalize plans for U.S. Africa Command’s largest East Africa military training exercise.

Justified Accord 23, or JA 23, scheduled from Feb. 13-24, is led by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa. This multinational exercise brings together more than 20 countries from three continents to increase partner readiness for peacekeeping missions, crisis response, and humanitarian assistance.

JA 23 will feature the following events: An African Union academics course, a multinational field training exercise, a live-fire exercise, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief projects, as well as training on defensive cyber capabilities.

This is the first-year cyber elements will be included in the exercise.

"Cyberspace is an increasingly important aspect of our daily lives and it effects both our civilian and military operations,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Kendra Tippett, chief of plans and exercises (G6), SETAF-AF.

“It is critical we understand the threats in cyberspace and effectively defend against them,” she added.

Tippett explained how this year’s exercise will provide U.S. joint forces the opportunity to work with African partners in the cyber domain. Specifically, multinational forces including Kenya and Uganda will focus on key cyber aspects such as incident identification, threat intelligence, artifact collection, containment and eradication.

Kenya will host activities primarily in Nairobi and Isiolo, while Uganda, Rwanda and Djibouti will provide venues for additional exercise events.

“Working together in cyberspace with our African partners and sharing our best practices will ultimately enhance our ability to defend against malign actors who seek to degrade critical infrastructure and impede military and civilian operations," Tippett said.

SETAF-AF, based in Vicenza, Italy, is U.S. Africa Command’s lead agent for planning the Justified Accord exercise series conducted annually in East Africa. SETAF-AF is responsible for coordinating all U.S. Army activities in Africa in support of U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Army Europe and Africa. Activities include military readiness exercises across the continent, hundreds of security force assistance engagements, crisis response and enduring posture support. These engagements strengthen partner networks in Africa, build partner capacity against regional and global security threats, and provide strategic access for U.S. forces in contingency operations.

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