Scheduled to take place in the western Indian Ocean from January 30, to February 6, Cutlass Express is a maritime exercise that focuses on cooperation and teamwork.
It’s centered around our Western Indian Ocean and East Africa partner nations working together in concert, and doing more together than they ever could on their own. Its principle goal is to build and help to maintain the capability to protect the free flow of trade by countering maritime illicit activity.
Cutlass Express puts maritime security in the hands of nations to whom it matters most. Here are five things you need to know:
1. What is Cutlass Express? In five words: Maritime Security Through Regional Cooperation. In more words: Cutlass Express is essentially about cooperation and teamwork. It’s about partner nations working together in concert, and doing more together than they ever could on their own. Vessel queries and ship boardings, airborne maritime patrol operations, and search and rescue drills are just a few things on the agenda for this year.
2. Who is Cutlass Express? Participating nations include Australia, Canada, Comoros, Djibouti, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Turkey, 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.
3. Where is Cutlass Express? Scenarios will take place in the vicinity of two operational hubs: Djibouti, Djibouti and Port Victoria, Seychelles.
4. When is Cutlass Express? The exercise will last eight days beginning Jan. 30, 2016 , and will include an in-port preparatory phase and three days of at-sea scenarios meant to test and provide feedback.
5. Why is Cutlass Express? Currently in its 5th iteration, Cutlass Express puts maritime security in the hands of nations to whom it matters most. It takes the lessons learned from past exercises and expands on it, making this year the best ever.
UPDATED Jan. 29, 2016 – Turkey has been added as a participant of Cutlass Express