Morocco: Training Agenda for Exercise Saharan Express 2013 Finalized

 Training Agenda for Exercise Saharan Express 2013 Finalized

Military and civilian maritime professionals finalized the training agenda for exercise Saharan Express 2013 (SE13) during the final planning conference at the Royal Moroccan Navy Headquarters in Casablanca, Jan. 21-23.

Militaries from West Africa, Europe, and the United States joined together to plan complex scenarios to be executed during the exercise.

 “It is impressive to see people from so many nations and so many cultures coming together to achieve a common goal,” said Capt. Andrew Lennon, exercise director for SE13. “African nations are working together to address their own issues and we’re here to support them.”

This is the third iteration of the Saharan Express exercise, which aims to develop participant nations’ capabilities of monitoring and enforcing their own territorial waters and exclusive economic zones.

“It’s not just about fighting the bad guys who hurt people through piracy and the illegal trafficking of persons and weapons,” said Capt. Lennon. “There’s a benefit to the economy in reducing the illegal fishing in the region, which improves the life of every person here.”

The training is scheduled to be executed off the coasts of Cape Verde, The Gambia, Mauritania, and Senegal and will be monitored and controlled by multiple Maritime Operations Centers (MOCs) in the region. Fourteen nations are participating, including Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, France, The Gambia, Liberia, Mauritania, Morocco, The Netherlands, Portugal, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.

Naval Today Staff, January 24, 2013; Image: US Navy