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Flintlock 11 and TSS Expand Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Cooperation Approach
U.S. Africa Command expanded its traditional approach to addressing irregular security challenges across the Trans-Sahara region of West and North Africa by incorporating engagements for the first time into Exercise Flintlock 11 that go beyond the
DAKAR, Senegal -Senegalese Colonel Boubacar Seck, Flintlock 11 Exercise Director, speaks to Trans-Saharan civilian ministry and national agency members, operational-level military members, and guests and observers from Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership participating countries during the TSS Senior Leader Symposium closing ceremony here March 4, 2011. U.S. Africa Command's Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara conducted two strategic-level working engagements here supported by the Trans-Sahara Security Symposium as part of Exercise Flintlock 11.  (Photo by Mr. Damien Rothstein, U.S. Africa Command)
2 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 1 of 2: DAKAR, Senegal -Senegalese Colonel Boubacar Seck, Flintlock 11 Exercise Director, speaks to Trans-Saharan civilian ministry and national agency members, operational-level military members, and guests and observers from Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership participating countries during the TSS Senior Leader Symposium closing ceremony here March 4, 2011. U.S. Africa Command's Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara conducted two strategic-level working engagements here supported by the Trans-Sahara Security Symposium as part of Exercise Flintlock 11. (Photo by Mr. Damien Rothstein, U.S. Africa Command) Download full-resolution version
DAKAR, Senegal -Senegalese Colonel Boubacar Seck, Flintlock 11 Exercise Director, confers with U.S. Army Colonel Nestor Sadler, Commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara, during a break at the TSS Senior Leader Symposium here March 3, 2011.  U.S. Africa Command's Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara conducted two strategic-level working engagements here supported by the Trans-Sahara Security Symposium as part of Exercise Flintlock 11.  The events brought together more than 70 operational-level military members, civilian ministry and national agency members, and guests and observers from Exercise Flintlock and Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership participating countries for a Counterterrorism Engagement and Senior Leader Symposium.  Conducted by Special Operations Command Africa's JSOTF-TS, Flintlock is focused on military interoperability and capacity-building for U.S., Canadian, European partner nations and select units in northern and western Africa, and will run through March 11.  (Photo by U.S. Air Force Major Bryan Purtell, Flintlock 11 Public Affairs)
2 photos: U.S. AFRICOM Photo
Photo 2 of 2: DAKAR, Senegal -Senegalese Colonel Boubacar Seck, Flintlock 11 Exercise Director, confers with U.S. Army Colonel Nestor Sadler, Commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara, during a break at the TSS Senior Leader Symposium here March 3, 2011. U.S. Africa Command's Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara conducted two strategic-level working engagements here supported by the Trans-Sahara Security Symposium as part of Exercise Flintlock 11. The events brought together more than 70 operational-level military members, civilian ministry and national agency members, and guests and observers from Exercise Flintlock and Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership participating countries for a Counterterrorism Engagement and Senior Leader Symposium. Conducted by Special Operations Command Africa's JSOTF-TS, Flintlock is focused on military interoperability and capacity-building for U.S., Canadian, European partner nations and select units in northern and western Africa, and will run through March 11. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Major Bryan Purtell, Flintlock 11 Public Affairs) Download full-resolution version
DAKAR, Senegal -Senegalese Colonel Boubacar Seck, Flintlock 11 Exercise Director, speaks to Trans-Saharan civilian ministry and national agency members, operational-level military members, and guests and observers from Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership participating countries during the TSS Senior Leader Symposium closing ceremony here March 4, 2011. U.S. Africa Command's Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara conducted two strategic-level working engagements here supported by the Trans-Sahara Security Symposium as part of Exercise Flintlock 11.  (Photo by Mr. Damien Rothstein, U.S. Africa Command)
DAKAR, Senegal -Senegalese Colonel Boubacar Seck, Flintlock 11 Exercise Director, confers with U.S. Army Colonel Nestor Sadler, Commander of Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara, during a break at the TSS Senior Leader Symposium here March 3, 2011.  U.S. Africa Command's Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara conducted two strategic-level working engagements here supported by the Trans-Sahara Security Symposium as part of Exercise Flintlock 11.  The events brought together more than 70 operational-level military members, civilian ministry and national agency members, and guests and observers from Exercise Flintlock and Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership participating countries for a Counterterrorism Engagement and Senior Leader Symposium.  Conducted by Special Operations Command Africa's JSOTF-TS, Flintlock is focused on military interoperability and capacity-building for U.S., Canadian, European partner nations and select units in northern and western Africa, and will run through March 11.  (Photo by U.S. Air Force Major Bryan Purtell, Flintlock 11 Public Affairs)
U.S. Africa Command expanded its traditional approach to addressing irregular security challenges across the Trans-Sahara region of West and North Africa by incorporating engagements for the first time into Exercise Flintlock 11 that go beyond the normal tactical and operational training.

AFRICOM's Operation Enduring Freedom-Trans Sahara conducted two strategic-level working engagements Feb. 22 to March 4, 2011 in Dakar, supported by the Trans-Sahara Security Symposium. The events brought together more than 70 operational-level military members, civilian ministry and national agency members, and guests and observers from Exercise Flintlock and Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership participating countries for a Counterterrorism Engagement and Senior Leader Symposium.

During the first week, operational and intelligence officers focused on developing a joint intelligence operating picture of the regional counterterrorism threat. During week two, these officers connected with 30 strategic leaders to produce a joint action plan during the TSS Senior Leader Symposium.

"One of the greatest lessons of this symposium for each and every one of you is that a truly effective campaign against insecurity must involve a full-range of civilian and military players in the execution of every operation," the U.S. Ambassador to Senegal Marcia Bernicat, highlighted in her TSS Senior Leaders Symposium opening ceremony remarks Feb. 28, 2011.

The TSS Symposium is designed to address specific threats to national and sub-regional security in the Trans-Sahara region: terrorism; trafficking in humans, weapons and drugs; and religious extremism. Leading African civil-military experts and practitioners from security focused sub-regional organizations lead participants in identifying interagency and regional mechanisms to counter these threats.

While improving information sharing across the Trans-Sahara region, the TSS Symposium fosters unique collaboration and coordination among participants, who came from militaries, civilian ministries and agencies, plus observers from two North African countries as well as six European and North American partner nations.

"The Trans-Sahara Security Symposium is a unique opportunity to bring together senior military and civilian officers in an interactive session that provides them with the tools to reflect and develop strategies on how to engage in multinational cooperation, to give them a better understanding of the dangers of extremists," said Senegalese Colonel Boubacar Seck, Flintlock 11 Exercise Director.

This Department of Defense training series supports the U.S. Agency for International Development and Department of State joint TSCTP effort to build civil-military capacity in an effort to enhance regional security and cooperation. To date, the TSS has graduated more than 600 West African armed forces and civilian security agency leaders from its rigorous country-specific and regional training program, which examines threats and common approaches to military, governance and developmental solutions.

Flintlock 11 builds upon previous exercise training engagements, establishing and developing cooperative relationships among the military institutions of TSCTP nations by strengthening security institutions, promoting multilateral sharing of information, and facilitating informal network building. Flintlock also accomplishes the AFRICOM objectives to build civil-military partnerships as well as interagency and regional cooperation in the Trans-Sahara region.

Flintlock is conducted by Special Operations Command Africa's Joint Special Operations Task Force-Trans Sahara and is focused on military interoperability and capacity-building for U.S., Canadian, European partner nations and select units in northern and western Africa. Approximately 800 personnel are involved in this year's exercise including participants from the U.S., Canada, Spain, France, The Netherlands and Germany, as well as from Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria and Senegal.
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