Operation Flintlock is an exercise held and led by an African host nation every year since 2005. It incorporates several actors in the security spectrum, such as military, law enforcement, justice, government, and civil society. Participants are from mainly North and West Africa Special Operations Forces (SOF), with participation by several western SOF as trainers. Flintlock is the foremost and biggest annual SOF exercise hosted by Africa Command (AFRICOM).

Air Force Maj. Gen. Mark Hicks, the commander for Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA), stated the following in a teleconference:

(T)he training cadre and the training audience participate in interoperability training, which provides real capability to all the participants, including the Western SOF partners who provide training. It’s worth noting that this exercise provides readiness to the U.S. and Western SOF militaries, interoperability training, and actual readiness to my own headquarters, for whom this is a major activity.”

The training is intended to strengthen security intuitions, increase and improve intelligence sharing, and develop interoperability among the partner nations of the G5 Sahel and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).