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Press Statement – JCET Closing Ceremony

Statement of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa Commander, Rear Admiral Jamie Sands at the closing ceremony of the JCET.

July 15, 2021

U.S. and Ivoirian special operations forces conclude seven-week joint training exercise

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – U.S. Special Operations Command Africa forces concluded a Joint Combined Exercise Training (JCET) in Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire on July 9, 2021. The U.S. team partnered with Côte d’Ivoire’s special forces to improve operational and tactical abilities to prevent, respond to, and stop violent extremism. JCETs enhance U.S. relationships with partner nations by developing and maintaining critical military-to-military connections and improving joint and allied readiness and interoperability.

“Training alongside partners not only sharpens our military skills but also builds the relationships we need in difficult times,” said Special Operations Command Africa Commander Rear Adm. Jamie Sands. “We are proud to work alongside our Ivoirian counterparts as they face encroachment from violent extremist organizations on their northern border.”

“Today, the level of professionalism required of those who wear a uniform is higher than ever before,” U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Richard Bell said at the closing ceremony. “Security is fundamental to creating an environment conducive to progress. Mutual trust between authorities and civilians is crucial; it is precisely this trust that the enemy is trying to break.”

The recently concluded JCET is one of several activities designed to strengthen the U.S.-Ivoirian security relationship and improve national and regional security. Côte d’Ivoire will be a key partner in next year’s Flintlock 2022, U.S. Africa Command’s largest annual Special Operations Forces training exercise.

U.S. Africa Command and special operations forces are committed to mutually beneficial engagement with Côte d’Ivoire and other partners.