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Flintlock 2017 gets underway in Burkina Faso
Seven African host nations are participating in this year's exercise
Colonel Major TN Pale, Burkina Faso Army Chief of Staff, addresses Burkina Faso soldiers and U.S. Special Forces during the opening ceremony of Flintlock 2017 at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso on February 27, 2017.  Exercise Flintlock is designed to build the capacity of key partners to provide better security for civilian populations. (U.S. Army photo by Spc Britany Slessman 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Multimedia Illustrator/released)
4 photos: Flintlock 17 begins
Photo 1 of 4: Colonel Major TN Pale, Burkina Faso Army Chief of Staff, addresses Burkina Faso soldiers and U.S. Special Forces during the opening ceremony of Flintlock 2017 at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso on February 27, 2017. Exercise Flintlock is designed to build the capacity of key partners to provide better security for civilian populations. (U.S. Army photo by Spc Britany Slessman 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Multimedia Illustrator/released) Download full-resolution version
David Young, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso, is greeted by soldiers of  the Burkina Faso Army during the opening ceremony for Flintlock 2017 on Feb. 27, at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso.
Seven African partner nations are participating in Flintlock 2017 to include Burkina Faso, Niger, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad, Cameroon, and Mauritania. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Benjamin Northcutt 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Sergeant/released)
4 photos: Flintlock 17 begins
Photo 2 of 4: David Young, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso, is greeted by soldiers of the Burkina Faso Army during the opening ceremony for Flintlock 2017 on Feb. 27, at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso. Seven African partner nations are participating in Flintlock 2017 to include Burkina Faso, Niger, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad, Cameroon, and Mauritania. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Benjamin Northcutt 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Sergeant/released) Download full-resolution version
David Young, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso, presents his opening speech for Flintlock 2017 to Burkina Faso Soldiers and U.S. Special Forces on February 27, 2017 at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso.
Flintlock is designed to build the capacity of key partners to provide better security for civilian populations, and strong partnerships to deny cross-border attacks by violent extremist organizations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Benjamin Northcutt 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Sergeant/released)
4 photos: Flintlock 17 begins
Photo 3 of 4: David Young, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso, presents his opening speech for Flintlock 2017 to Burkina Faso Soldiers and U.S. Special Forces on February 27, 2017 at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso. Flintlock is designed to build the capacity of key partners to provide better security for civilian populations, and strong partnerships to deny cross-border attacks by violent extremist organizations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Benjamin Northcutt 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Sergeant/released) Download full-resolution version
Colonel Major TN Pale, the Burkina Faso Army Chief of Staff, salutes U.S. Special Forces during the opening ceremony of Flintlock 2017 in Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso on February 27, 2017. 
Flintlock allows partner nations to build and strengthen relationships that are essential to creating lasting security and the ability to effectively respond to crisis. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Benjamin Northcutt 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Sergeant/released)
4 photos: Flintlock 17 begins
Photo 4 of 4: Colonel Major TN Pale, the Burkina Faso Army Chief of Staff, salutes U.S. Special Forces during the opening ceremony of Flintlock 2017 in Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso on February 27, 2017. Flintlock allows partner nations to build and strengthen relationships that are essential to creating lasting security and the ability to effectively respond to crisis. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Benjamin Northcutt 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Sergeant/released) Download full-resolution version
Colonel Major TN Pale, Burkina Faso Army Chief of Staff, addresses Burkina Faso soldiers and U.S. Special Forces during the opening ceremony of Flintlock 2017 at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso on February 27, 2017.  Exercise Flintlock is designed to build the capacity of key partners to provide better security for civilian populations. (U.S. Army photo by Spc Britany Slessman 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Multimedia Illustrator/released)
David Young, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso, is greeted by soldiers of  the Burkina Faso Army during the opening ceremony for Flintlock 2017 on Feb. 27, at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso.
Seven African partner nations are participating in Flintlock 2017 to include Burkina Faso, Niger, Morocco, Tunisia, Chad, Cameroon, and Mauritania. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Benjamin Northcutt 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Sergeant/released)
David Young, the Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.S. Embassy Burkina Faso, presents his opening speech for Flintlock 2017 to Burkina Faso Soldiers and U.S. Special Forces on February 27, 2017 at Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso.
Flintlock is designed to build the capacity of key partners to provide better security for civilian populations, and strong partnerships to deny cross-border attacks by violent extremist organizations. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Benjamin Northcutt 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Sergeant/released)
Colonel Major TN Pale, the Burkina Faso Army Chief of Staff, salutes U.S. Special Forces during the opening ceremony of Flintlock 2017 in Camp Zagre, Burkina Faso on February 27, 2017. 
Flintlock allows partner nations to build and strengthen relationships that are essential to creating lasting security and the ability to effectively respond to crisis. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt Benjamin Northcutt 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) Public Affairs Sergeant/released)

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - U.S. Special Forces Operational Detachment Alpha teams, partnered with the host nations of Burkina Faso, Chad, Cameroon, Niger, Morocco, Mauritania, and Tunisia, have begun training in the multi-nation exercise Flintlock 2017.

The first Flintlock was conducted in 2005 with Senegal as the host nation. Flintlock provides a unique opportunity to enhance regional coordination and address common security challenges.

Flintlock is sponsored by U.S. Africa Command with planning led by U.S. Special Operations Command-Africa in conjunction with partner nations.

This year’s exercise includes military forces from over 20 nations demonstrating regional cooperation in training in small unit tactics, information sharing, communications, first aid, combat life-saver, weapons training, and other military operations.

Burkina Faso hosted an opening ceremony Feb. 27, 2017 at Camp Zagre.

Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Burkina Faso, David Young, gave an opening speech where he welcomed U.S. Special Forces from Fort Bragg, North Carolina and thanked military personnel from Burkina Faso for participating in Flintlock 2017. 

Flintlock is designed to build the capacity of key African partner nations to provide better security for civilian populations. Strong partnerships are key to denying cross-border attacks by violent extremist organizations.

"One of the goals of this exercise is to prepare partner forces for the daunting task of countering extremist organizations," said Young.

Following Young, the Burkina Faso Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Major TN Pale, talked about the cooperation between all the participating nations.

"We hope all objectives we are trying to reach through this exercise will be achieved," said Pale, "and we also wish the same for the different efforts to secure and defend our territories."

Pale concluded his remakrs by declaring Flintlock 2017 underway.

“Long live the relationship between the different countries and the armed forces of our countries,” said Pale.

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