Justified Accord 2024, or JA24, builds readiness for the U.S. joint force, prepares regional partners for UN and African Union mandated missions, while also increasing multinational interoperability in support of humanitarian assistance, disaster response and crisis response.
Led by SETAF-AF, JA24 is U.S. Africa Command’s largest exercise in East Africa and will be hosted by the Kenya Defence Forces in Nairobi and Isiolo, Kenya, in late February to early March, 2024.
“We’re excited to welcome several partners and allies here in Italy, including a select team of senior [Kenya Defence Forces] planners,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jason Porter, deputy chief of exercises (G7), SETAF-AF. “Working the exercise plan face-to-face helps ensure we’re all on the same page, leading to a more successful exercise.”
While still early in the process, the week-long planning event highlighted a few brand new additions to the exercise, including tactical combat casualty care of K-9s.
“The [Kenya Defence Forces] are continuing to increase their usage of military working dogs,” said U.S. Army Maj. Sage Umphries, civil affairs planner for veterinary services, SETAF-AF. “In areas such as explosive ordnance disposal or counter-trafficking operations, service dogs are invaluable.”
The exercise also features a command post exercise designed for participants to respond to a simulated disaster, an African Union staff officer course focused on humanitarian assistance, a defensive cyber course, a medical civil action program, as well as a multinational live-fire field training exercise.
The field training exercise brings together service members from the U.S., Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Somalia, Djibouti and the U.K. Activities include troop leading procedures, situational training exercise lanes, counter-improvised explosive device awareness and combined company-level assault activities.
“What strikes me time after time is whenever you put a multinational set of military professionals together, magic starts to happen and plans are put in place,” said Dutch Army Reserve Lt. Col. Cees Van Doorn, JA24 initial planning event participant and planner, Netherlands Army Command. “I’ve never seen the same thing occur in my civilian environment.”
Plans were definitely made, including the lofty goal of combining assets from multinational Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, as well as integrating two separate exercises.
JA24 will link with exercise Cutlass Express conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa during the same time frame. This AFRICOM-sponsored exercise is the largest naval exercise in the Indian Ocean and brings together western Indian Ocean nations and other international partners to share maritime expertise and experience.
In addition, the British Army will train with the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade, headquartered in Fort Liberty, North Carolina. They will combine forces in Kenya by sending their own 11th Security Force Assistance Brigade to advise, support, liaise and assist multinational partner throughout the exercise.
“We’re very excited to host our multinational partners in Kenya,” said [Kenya Defence Forces] Col. Paul Koech, initial planning event participant and Kenya’s senior JA24 planner. “There should be many opportunities to learn from one another within some very nice training environments, such as the Humanitarian Peace Support School in Nairobi and our School of Infantry in Isiolo.”