Personnel and forces from around 15 countries are set to commence the multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express 2023 (CE23).

Scheduled to start from 5 March, the activity is being conducted by the US Naval Forces Africa (NAVAF) and sponsored by the US Africa Command (AFRICOM).

The newest iteration of Cutlass Express will primarily be carried out in Djibouti, Kenya and Mauritius.

It will feature a series of shore-based and at-sea training activities that will take place along the eastern coast of Africa.

All the training activities undertaken during CE23 will allow the participating forces to exchange information between Maritime Operation Centres to ensure that the multinational forces are capable of deterring sea-based illicit activities.

Participating nations will include the US, Canada, Djibouti, Madagascar, Mozambique, Mauritius, the UK, Japan, Tanzania, Seychelles, France, Kenya, Georgia, Comoros and Greece.

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NAVAF maritime headquarters director rear admiral Chase Patrick said: “The relationships and partnerships we build through exercises such as CE23 increase our combined capabilities to respond to maritime threats in waters surrounding Africa.

“By teaching and learning from each other through various scenarios, we are able to bring new ideas and techniques to the table that will lead to a safer, more prosperous environment in Western Indian Ocean.”

Designed to evaluate and hone combined maritime law enforcement tactics, the CE23 aims to bolster the regional security and stability in the Western Indian Ocean.

This year’s exercise is planned to be linked with the US Naval Forces Central Command’s upcoming International Maritime Exercise, allowing all the participants to boost interoperability and global capabilities.

Exercise CE23 is also one of the three NAVAF-hosted regional events that allow the US, East African, European and other international partner nations to jointly address common transnational maritime concerns.