Exercise Saharan Express 2015 Begins

Maritime forces from West and North Africa, Europe, and the United States kicked off Exercise Saharan Express 2015, April 20, 2015.

Saharan Express 2015, sponsored and facilitated by U.S. Africa Command, is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness, information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction expertise to counter sea-based illicit activity in the region.

Rear. Adm. Thomas G. Reck, Vice Commander U.S. 6th Fleet, said:

This year, with nine nations, nine ships, and four maritime patrol aircraft participating, we have a strong contingent of African and European partners that have a vested interest to make this region a safer place.

Exercise Saharan Express 2015, now in its fifth year, is one of four U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S 6th Fleet-facilitated regional “Express” series exercises. The exercise is part of a comprehensive strategy under the Africa Partnership Station (APS) program.

Participants of Saharan Express 2015 have opportunities to enhance expertise in a number of areas: boarding techniques, search-and-rescue operations, maritime patrol, medical casualty response, MOC-to-MOC communication, and maritime domain awareness tools. Participating nations in Saharan Express 2015 include Cabo Verde, France, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Turkey and the United States.

This year’s exercise will take place primarily out of Cabo Verde and Senegal, with the closing event taking place in Dakar, Senegal.

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Image: US Navy

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