The Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program is funded and managed by the U.S.Department of State. The initiative is designed to improve African militaries’ capabilities by providing selected training and equipment necessary for multinational peace support operations. U.S. Africa Command supports the ACOTA program by providing military mentors, trainers, and advisors at the request of the State Department.
ACOTA provides a full range of peacekeeping training and instruction tailored to match a country’s needs and capabilities. The program focuses on sub-Saharan African soldiers from partner nations who are scheduled to participate in a peace support operation or who are designated to be in a standby mode to do so.
ACOTA benefits its partners by training African soldiers on topics including convoy escort procedures, refugee management, and small-unit command skills; overseeing exercises for battalion, brigade, and multinational force headquarters personnel; providing equipment to partner nations, including mine detectors, field medical equipment, uniforms, and water purification devices; conducting refresher training periodically to ensure that trained units maintain their capabilities; and training African trainers, who in turn train their own nation’s soldiers in peacekeeping skills.