U.S., Ivoirian special operations forces sharpen skills to counter violent extremists

Special Operations Command Africa forces concluded Joint Combined Exercise Training in Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire July 9, 2021. The team partnered with Côte d'Ivoire Forces Speciales Ivoirennes to hone special operations skills.


“Training alongside partners not only sharpens our military skills but also builds the relationships we all need in difficult times.” -Rear Adm. Sands
By Master Sgt. Bryan Franks Special Operations Command Africa Côte D'Ivoire Jul 22, 2021
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Special Operations Command Africa forces concluded Joint Combined Exercise Training with Côte d'Ivoire Forces Speciales Ivoirennes in Abidjan and Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire, July 9, 2021.

“Training alongside partners not only sharpens our military skills but also builds the relationships we all need in difficult times,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Jamie Sands, commander, U.S. Special Operations Command Africa . "We are proud to work alongside our Ivoirian counterparts as they face violent extremist encroachment on their northern border."

The JCET program’s primary purpose is to provide special operations units specific training to hone military skills. JCETs often enhance U.S. relationships with partner nations by developing and maintaining critical military-to-military connections and improving joint and allied readiness and interoperability.

“Today, the level of professionalism required of those who wear a uniform is higher than ever before,” U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Richard Bell said at the closing ceremony. “Security is fundamental to creating an environment conducive to progress. Mutual trust between authorities and civilians is crucial – it is precisely this trust that the enemy is trying to break.”

These engagements are part of a series of U.S. engagements with the Côte d'Ivoire military that provide opportunities for units to work together, learn from each other, build interoperability, and strengthen relationships. 

Côte d'Ivoire, a partner contributing to regional security, is scheduled to host one of the training locations for Flintlock 2022. Flintlock is the premier special operations exercise in Africa with 30 participating nations.

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