Flintlock 24

The Pentagon has confirmed that Flintlock 24, U.S. Africa Command’s largest annual special operations exercise, commenced Monday, May 13th, with an opening ceremony in Côte d’Ivoire. It ran through May 24th and involved nearly 30 nations and approximately 1,300 personnel from U.S. Special Operations Command Africa (SocAfrica) and its partners, with activities hosted in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

“Flintlock is U.S. Africa Command’s premier and largest annual special operations forces exercise, aimed at enhancing combined partner force collaboration in Africa alongside international and NATO special operations forces,” Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters during a briefing.

SocAfrica and the Ghana Armed Forces concluded a final planning session for Flintlock 24 in late February through early March this year. This event included discussions on the rule of law, civil affairs activities, air operations, and the topics of women, peace, and security, as stated in a SocAfrica press release.

“The partnerships forged here enable us to tackle the continent’s threats collectively,” said U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Ronald A. Foy, SocAfrica commander. “That’s the value of this exercise. As we move forward, we will build on these relationships.”

“Flintlock serves as a gateway for all international special operations forces allies and partners to train, live, and learn together,” stated U.S. Army Maj. Adam DeMarco, SocAfrica Flintlock 24 lead planner. “It really establishes enduring and sustainable partnerships that withstand the test of time, whether in Flintlock or real-world operations. We have representatives from five of the seven continents participating in Exercise Flintlock, and our partnership is only growing.”

Exercise Obangame Express 2024

Meanwhile, in the Africom area of responsibility, Exercise Obangame Express 2024 has been underway since May 6 along Africa’s west coast, particularly in and around Gabon, according to Ryder.

Sponsored by Africom and executed by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, Obangame Express is a 13-nation maritime interdiction exercise taking place in Sekondi, Ghana, through May 17.