Maritime professionals from South and East Africa, Europe, Indian Ocean nations and the U.S. met to begin finalizing plans for the fourth iteration of Cutlass Express 2015, Nov. 18.
The four-day planning event seeks to finalize exercise scenarios, participant force offerings, schedule of events, and participant manning in advance of the exercise, to be held in early 2015.
“We must continue in good spirit of partnership and alliances to support our continent and ensure that trade can advance freely. No one nation can deal with the challenges that we face in the world today. The ocean is so vast that a united effort is required to make sure that our oceans are safe.” – Rear Adm. B.K. Mhlana, Fleet Flag Officer, South African Navy
“Cutlass Express promotes and exercises interoperability and information sharing, and it fosters strong working relationships amongst East African countries’ maritime services. By working together, the participating countries greatly enhance their maritime domain awareness and ability to patrol their vast territorial waters. They gain an exponential increase in the efficient deployment of their forces, greatly increasing maritime safety and the protection of their vital natural resources.” – Capt. Patrick Carey, Executive Director of Exercise Cutlass Express
“[This exercise is about] cooperating with strategic partners on securing the sea lines of communication through establishment of regional and local maritime capabilities on the African continent.” – Lt. Cmdr. Nicolai Svane, Naval Staff Defence Command Denmark
“The participation of Mozambique in Exercise Cutlass Express 15 is a friendly cooperation of navies. This extends the bilateral agreement of Mozambique and the Republic of South Africa, as well as the tripartate agreement between Mozambique, Tanzania and the Republic of South Africa, in which we protect the security of the national maritime environment.” – Capt. Eusebio Salumbia, Mozambique Navy
- The exercise is scheduled take place in early 2015 in several exercise operational areas along East Africa.
- Cutlass Express, one of four regional Express Series exercises facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet, will focus on increasing capabilities in deterring counter-piracy, counter illicit trafficking, and other maritime threats.
- This year participating planners are working to integrate the Djibouti Code of Conduct and interagency organizations in order to develop scenarios that mirror real-world operations.
- Cutlass Express is a U.S. Africa Command-sponsored multinational maritime exercise designed to increase maritime safety and security in the waters off East Africa.
- U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa.