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The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) has initiated “Special Warfare Unleashed,” a comprehensive exercise aimed at enhancing the capabilities of its special operations forces and strengthening partnerships with African nations. This exercise, conducted as part of AFRICOM’s Flintlock 24, involves forces from nearly 30 nations, totaling approximately 1,300 personnel. Hosted by Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, the exercise focuses on counterterrorism, regional stability, and capacity building. The initiative underscores the importance of international cooperation in addressing security challenges and fostering enduring partnerships.

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Key Objectives of the Exercise

  1. Strengthening Regional Partnerships:
    • Collaborate with African military forces to improve interoperability and cooperation.
    • Foster mutual understanding and trust between US and African forces.
    • Engage in joint command and control exercises to streamline communication and coordination.
  2. Enhancing Counterterrorism Efforts:
    • Conduct joint operations and training to combat terrorist organizations such as Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, and ISIS affiliates.
    • Share intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) data to enhance situational awareness and operational effectiveness.
    • Develop and implement counter-terrorism strategies tailored to specific threats and conditions in different regions.
  3. Building Capacity and Readiness:
    • Train African military personnel in advanced special operations tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).
    • Provide equipment, logistical support, and technical assistance to enhance operational readiness and self-sufficiency of partner forces.
    • Establish enduring training programs to ensure continuous professional development and capacity building.
  4. Promoting Stability and Security:
    • Address security concerns related to regional conflicts, insurgencies, and transnational criminal activities through coordinated military and civilian efforts.
    • Support peacekeeping operations, humanitarian missions, and efforts to stabilize post-conflict regions.
    • Develop crisis response capabilities to effectively manage and mitigate emerging security threats.

Components of the Exercise

Expected Outcomes

The “Special Warfare Unleashed” exercise is expected to significantly boost the capabilities of both US and African special operations forces. By fostering stronger partnerships and enhancing operational readiness, AFRICOM aims to create a more secure and stable environment in Africa. This exercise will also serve as a model for future collaborations, demonstrating the importance of international cooperation in addressing global security challenges.

Broader Implications


The launch of “Special Warfare Unleashed” marks a critical step in AFRICOM’s efforts to enhance security and stability in Africa. By working closely with African nations, the US aims to build a network of capable and resilient partners ready to tackle the continent’s most pressing security threats. This exercise underscores the importance of international cooperation and demonstrates AFRICOM’s commitment to fostering peace, stability, and prosperity in Africa through comprehensive and sustained engagement.

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