Contact Us Press Releases
Exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Closes
Cutlass Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) comes to a close
180131-N-JI086-114 VICTORIA, Seychelles (Jan. 31, 2018) Sailors from participating countries pose for a group photo after the opening ceremony of exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Jan. 31 in Victoria, Seychelles. Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities of East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)
4 photos: Exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Closes
Photo 1 of 4: 180131-N-JI086-114 VICTORIA, Seychelles (Jan. 31, 2018) Sailors from participating countries pose for a group photo after the opening ceremony of exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Jan. 31 in Victoria, Seychelles. Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities of East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released) Download full-resolution version
David Reimer, U.S. Ambassador to Seychelles and Mauritius, gives remarks during the closing ceremony of Cutlass Express 2018 in Victoria, Seychelles, Feb. 7, 2018. Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities between the U.S., East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)
4 photos: Exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Closes
Photo 2 of 4: David Reimer, U.S. Ambassador to Seychelles and Mauritius, gives remarks during the closing ceremony of Cutlass Express 2018 in Victoria, Seychelles, Feb. 7, 2018. Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities between the U.S., East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released) Download full-resolution version
VICTORIA, Seychelles (Jan. 31, 2018) Sailors from participating countries pose for a group photo after the opening ceremony of exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Jan. 31 in Victoria, Seychelles. Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities of East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)
4 photos: Exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Closes
Photo 3 of 4: VICTORIA, Seychelles (Jan. 31, 2018) Sailors from participating countries pose for a group photo after the opening ceremony of exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Jan. 31 in Victoria, Seychelles. Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities of East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released) Download full-resolution version
 VICTORIA, Seychelles (Feb. 7, 2018) Senior leaders from Cutlass Express 2018 attend the closing ceremony of the exercise in Victoria, Seychelles, Feb. 7.
Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities between the U.S., East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)
4 photos: Exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Closes
Photo 4 of 4: VICTORIA, Seychelles (Feb. 7, 2018) Senior leaders from Cutlass Express 2018 attend the closing ceremony of the exercise in Victoria, Seychelles, Feb. 7. Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities between the U.S., East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released) Download full-resolution version
180131-N-JI086-114 VICTORIA, Seychelles (Jan. 31, 2018) Sailors from participating countries pose for a group photo after the opening ceremony of exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Jan. 31 in Victoria, Seychelles. Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities of East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)
David Reimer, U.S. Ambassador to Seychelles and Mauritius, gives remarks during the closing ceremony of Cutlass Express 2018 in Victoria, Seychelles, Feb. 7, 2018. Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities between the U.S., East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)
VICTORIA, Seychelles (Jan. 31, 2018) Sailors from participating countries pose for a group photo after the opening ceremony of exercise Cutlass Express 2018 Jan. 31 in Victoria, Seychelles. Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities of East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)
 VICTORIA, Seychelles (Feb. 7, 2018) Senior leaders from Cutlass Express 2018 attend the closing ceremony of the exercise in Victoria, Seychelles, Feb. 7.
Cutlass Express is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness and information sharing practices to increase capabilities between the U.S., East African and Western Indian Ocean nations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ford Williams/Released)

Cutlass Express, sponsored by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa was designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security in East Africa.

“We appreciate the enormous effort Seychelles put in to hosting this year’s exercise,” said David Reimer, U.S. Ambassador to Seychelles and Mauritius. “Maritime security was the first thing President Faure and I discussed yesterday. It’s not just a U.S. concern, or just a Seychelles concern, it’s an international priority.”

The exercise lasted eight days and included an in-port preparatory phase, five days of underway visit, board, search and seizure drills as well as various workshops in Seychelles and Djibouti.

"The Djiboutians have always been wonderful and gracious hosts -- both for this exercise and for the U.S. military in a more broad sense,” said Capt. John Tully, senior defense attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti. “With Cutlass Express they accommodate a group of partners from the region, as well as further afield, for a multinational exercise, and that's huge. I think it speaks volumes about their status as a regional leader in maritime security and even in broader security issues."

The U.S. Navy War College additionally facilitated a senior leaders’ symposium (SLS), which promoted the development of national maritime strategies and the development of operational concepts and capabilities to operationalize maritime strategy.

“The SLS provided a phenomenal opportunity for us to meet our African partners in the region,” said Rear Adm. Shawn Duane, vice commander, U.S. 6th Fleet. “Together they provided a great baseline where we can talk about different issues and challenges in maritime security in the East African waters and West Indian Ocean.”

The participating nations successfully tested their ability to illicit trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing, as well as search and rescue situations. Maritime operations centers gave participating nations the ability to track and report procedures of simulated suspect vessels.

This year’s exercise was the first in 27 years that Somalia participated in an international exercise outside their borders.

“That fact alone makes this event historic and shows the progress we’re making as a team as we work together in the region,” said Duane.

Nations that participated in this year’s exercise included Australia, Canada, Comoros, Denmark, Djibouti, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, The Netherlands, Tanzania, Turkey and the United States.
Cutlass Express is one of three Africa-focused regional, "Express" series exercises sponsored by U.S. AFRICOM and facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet. The exercise falls under Africa Partnership Station, the umbrella program for the Express series of exercises and other capacity-building initiatives throughout Africa.

PARTNERSHIPS OPERATIONS READINESS