Saharan Express 2012 was held in Dakar, Senegal, where 12 countries' navies, coast guards and army paramedic teams gathered to kick off the maritime training and exercises with a press conference and pre-sail conference, where the 10 ship commanders and participants were introduced.
The 12 nations that participated in the second Saharan Express are Cape Verde, France, The Gambia, Cote d'Ivoire; Liberia, Mauritania, Morocco, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
This exercise is one of four regional maritime exercises in Africa, an international security cooperation initiative facilitated by Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa. It's aim is to strengthen global maritime partnerships through training and collaborative activities to improve maritime safety and security in Africa.
The aim of exercise Saharan Express is to develop participant nations' capabilities to monitor and enforce their own territorial waters and exclusive economic zones. Should these participants meet in the future to conduct combined peacekeeping or humanitarian operations, or to counter trafficking in drugs, people, or weapons in the Atlantic Ocean, they will be better able to respond and work together.