Cutlass Express, one of four regional Express Series exercises facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet is scheduled to take place in the West Indian Ocean from January 30, to February 6.
The exercise focuses on increasing interagency capabilities in deterring counter-piracy, counter illicit trafficking, and other maritime threats in the waters off East Africa.
The U.S. 6th Fleet-hosted, eight-day maritime exercise Cutlass Express was planned by partner nations during a meet in Tanzania in August 2015.
Cutlass Express 2016 will be attended by Australia, Canada, Comoros, Djibouti, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as representatives from the Eastern Africa Standby Force, EU Naval Force, International Maritime Organization (IMO), and Combined Task Force 150.
In 2016, the exercise will be centered around the U.S. Navy’s Western Indian Ocean and East Africa partner nations working together in concert. Its principle goal is to build and help to maintain the capability to protect the free flow of trade by countering maritime illicit activity.
The eight-day exercise will take place in the vicinity of two operational hubs: Djibouti, Djibouti and Port Victoria, Seychelles, and will include an in-port preparatory phase and three days of at-sea scenarios meant to test and provide feedback.