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Unified Focus 17

Thursday April 27, 2017

What is it?

Unified Focus 2017 is a weeklong tabletop exercise bringing together the military partners of the Lake Chad Basin area’s Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to practice joint planning and coordination through a series of scripted vignettes to counter the violence of Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa operations.

This is the inaugural Unified Focus exercise and is being hosted by the United States and the Government of the Republic of Cameroon in Douala, Cameroon, April 24 to 28.

Military planners from the MNJTF troop contributing nations (Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria) and representatives from civilian organizations, including the Center for Civilians in Conflict, the African Union, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United States Agency for International Development, and the Center of Excellency for Stability Police Units, will form working groups to discuss and develop solutions to problems created by the ongoing violence from Boko Haram and ISIS West Africa.

What has the Army done?

For the past few decades, America has partnered with African armies in security-cooperation events that increase readiness while building partnerships between nations and the capacity to increase regional and transregional security. U.S. Army Africa leverages its relationships across Africa to provide a venue for military and civilian planners to come together and find innovative solutions to providing for a more secure future in the region.

What continued efforts are planned for the future?

U.S. Army Africa leverages the Total Army and uses a regional focus, embedded in the Army’s global engagement strategy to strengthen African land forces and regional organizations. These foundational capabilities help synchronize efforts and provide options to prevent conflict, shape the security environment and win conflicts. This exercise is just one example of U.S. Army Africa’s commitment to strengthening relationships with partner nations in Africa. Future exercises and security-cooperation engagements will be scheduled to take place in Africa, and U.S. Army Africa will continue to develop and build upon the relationships and partnerships established here.

Why is this important to the Army?

The African continent is a complex environment with over one billion people and more than 2,000 spoken languages in a continent three times the size of the U.S. The importance of building partnerships across Africa is more relevant than ever in light of the growth of regional and transnational violent extremist organizations (VEOs).

Unified Focus brings together the Lake Chad Basin and international community and represents a unified approach to confronting regional and continental challenges such as VEOs and illicit trafficking.


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