Security Cooperation

U.S. Africa Command’s Theater Security Cooperation programs are focused on building operational and institutional capacity.

U.S. Africa Command’s Theater Security Cooperation programs remain the cornerstone of our sustained security engagement with African partners, are focused on building operational and institutional capacity and developing human capital, and provide a framework within which the command engages with regional partners in cooperative military activities and development.

These activities complement and reinforce other U.S. government agency programs, such as the Department of State-led and funded Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance program. This 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 has been a key enabler of successful Africa Union Mission in Somalia operations.

In the maritime arena, Africa Partnership Station is U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa’s flagship maritime security cooperation program. The focus of APS is to improve capabilities with partner naval forces using four “pillars” to increase maritime safety and security: develop maritime domain awareness—maintaining a clear picture of the maritime environment; build maritime professionals; establish maritime infrastructure; and develop response capabilities while building regional integration. 

Conditions for success of our security cooperation programs and activities on the continent are established through hundreds of engagements supporting a wide range of activities, such as familiarization of fundamental military skills, education and professional development, humanitarian assistance such as HIV/AIDS prevention, counter-narcotics assistance, and foreign military financing.

These capacity-building activities complement Department of State programs and are planned with the U.S. embassy country teams and partner nations. We focus on the development of professional militaries which are disciplined, capable, and responsible to civilian authorities and committed to the well-being of their citizens and protecting human rights. Our efforts focus on increasing the capability and capacity of African partner nations to serve as trained, equipped agents of stability and security on the African continent.