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U.S. and Ivoirian special operations forces train together
September 26, 2022

U.S. and Ivoirian special operations forces train together

September 8, 2022, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – A team of soldiers from U.S. Special Operations Command Africa concluded a seven-week Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on September 8, 2022.  The U.S. team partnered with elements of 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 improving joint and allied readiness and interoperability.

“No nation can solve the challenge of violent extremism alone,” said Rear Adm. Jamie Sands, Commander of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa. “We value training alongside our Ivoirian partners; both sides learn from each other.”

“Violent extremism in the Sahel threatens countries along the West African coast,” U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Richard Bell said.  “The United States shares the conviction of the Ivoirian authorities that the solution is to strengthen the ties between the State and the population, and that the best way to achieve this is through strengthening democratization, respect for individual freedoms, and professionalism of the security services.”

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 hosted Flintlock 2022, U.S. Africa Command’s largest annual Special Operations Forces training exercise, and will be a key partner in Flintlock 2023.  In April, the United States announced a ten-year U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability, a framework to partner with Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Guinea, and Togo on an integrated regional approach to prevent conflict, promote resilience and stability, and advance economic development.