Maritime forces from eastern Africa, west Indian Ocean nations, Europe, and the United States, as well as several international organizations concluded the sixth iteration of the annual multinational maritime exercise Cutlass Express, Feb. 8, in concurrent closing ceremonies in Le Chaland, Mauritius and Djibouti, Djibouti.
“We had great partners and great teamwork, and every year we see progress from all those involved and it’s becoming a very important and complex exercise throughout the region.” – Rear Adm. Shawn Duane, Vice Commander, U.S. 6th Fleet Director, Maritime Partner Programs, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa.
Exercise Cutlass Express is one of three Africa-focused, regional “Express” series exercises facilitated by U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet (CNE-CNA/C6F). The exercise falls under Africa Partnership Station, the umbrella program for the Express series exercises and other capacity-building initiatives throughout Africa.
Cutlass Express 2017 participating nations included Comoros, Djibouti, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Turkey, Canada, Uganda, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, and the United States.
Cutlass Express 2017 (CE17) tested participating nations’ ability to respond to illicit trafficking, piracy, illegal fishing, and search and rescue situations. Maritime operations centers gave participating nations the ability to track and report procedures of simulated suspect vessels.