Members of U.S. Army Southern European Task Force and more than two dozen Allies and Partner nations converged in Nairobi, Kenya, on Oct. 18, to establish plans for Justified Accord, an exercise set to take place next spring in Kenya.
More than 1,000 troops are scheduled to participate in Justified Accord 2022, said Austin Blessard, U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa lead planner for the exercise.
“One thing we are getting out of the exercise planning event is a collaboration between the U.S. and our multinational partners, mostly centered around the host country of Kenya,” Blessard said.
The planning event kicked off with opening comments from the Kenya Army Chief of Training and Doctrine Brigadier Benedict Mzee.
“I understand there is quite a number of activities, and I ask you to look at what is possible – not just planning the event but look at all the possibilities,” said Mzee. “At the end of these five days, I know that together we will develop a thorough exercise plan that all of us will execute.”
Brig. Gen. Cupples, SETAF-AF deputy commanding general, echoed Mzee’s sentiment, adding, “On behalf of commanders of AFRICOM, USAREUR-AF, and SETAF, I want to extend our appreciation to the Kenya Defence Force for graciously hosting this planning conference and for hosting the overall Justified Accord exercise in Kenya.”
The planning event is one of a series of similar events before the actual exercise in March. During the week, participants laid the groundwork for the various aspects of Justified Accord 2022.
Some of the aspects of JA22 are command post exercises, multiple engineer projects, humanitarian assistance, and a field training exercise, in which the 173d Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), is set to participate.
“Training on the African continent is an excellent opportunity for [173rd Airborne] companies to refine tactics, techniques, and procedures, and [conduct] live squad fire exercises in an austere environment with other nations,” said Capt. Zach Fussey, 173rd brigade planner.
Justified Accord is an U.S. Africa Command’s joint, combined exercise that involves multiple U.S. military components, allies and partner nations, and international organizations to promote interoperability between participants for peacekeeping operations in East Africa.
“JA is a crucial exercise for U.S. forces that enables readiness as they work in environments outside of the U.S. or Europe, where some of our troops are stationed,” said Aldridge Browne, SETAF exercise chief. “It permits the U.S. to work with our African partners and sometimes some European partners like the British.”