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Allied Joint Force Command Naples supported an African Union field training exercise, dubbed “Amani Africa II”, Oct. 19-Nov. 7.
9 NOV 2015
LOHATLA, South Africa – Allied Joint Forces Command Naples supported an African Union field training exercise, dubbed “Amani Africa II”, Oct. 19-Nov. 7.
The African Union (AU) conducted its most comprehensive military exercise ever with approximately 3,000 personnel from 29 African Union member states. The aim of the exercise was to test and evaluate the African Standby Force (ASF) for the first time. The ASF is a rapid reaction force similar to the NATO Response Force, and it’s deployable within 14 days to any place on the African continent. The aim is for Africa to possess the capability to act promptly, upon a request from a member state or when the African Union decides a situation is serious enough, to save lives and prevent a crisis from escalating.
Therefore JFC Naples supported the African Union with providing experienced evaluators and public affairs/media subject matter experts. With the assistance of the JFC Naples’ specialists, among others, the African Union assessed the level of readiness, the deployability and the capabilities of its high readiness force. The assessments’ results will help to fill any identified gaps in order to keep the ASF ready and capable for all future challenges.
The exercise contained a fictional civil war scenario that causes the African Union’s decision to deploy the ASF to the conflict region to end the fighting. The exercise scenario covered all aspects of crisis intervention and management: to stop violence and separate the conflict parties even with the use of force, crowd and riot control, logistics, communication, decision making, management of refugee flows and enabling humanitarian aid. All efforts are focused on the long-term objective to ensure a safe and secure environment and regional stabilization.
The multinational Amani Africa II Exercise was held at the Lohatla Army Combat Training Centre of the exercise’s host nation and main troop contributor, Republic of South Africa. Exercise organizers said the extreme climatic conditions, the rough environment, combined with the well-developed South African Army’s infrastructure, guaranteed demanding training under realistic African conditions.
JFC Naples’ Assisting Chief of Staff, German Army Brig. Gen. Reinhard Kloss, visited the exercise Nov. 5. During a briefing about the efforts and achievements Nigerian Army General (ret.) Samaila Ilija, exercise director, thanked JFC Naples for its support and said he appreciates the close relationship between the African Union and NATO. He added that “the Amani Africa II Exercise is a very important milestone in the continent’s development for peace and stability.”
The AU’s African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) is made up of five elements: The Peace and Security Council, the Continent Early Warning System, the Panel of the Wise, the African Union Peace Fund, and the ASF. The operational readiness of the ASF can be determined without evaluating the other four elements. The deployment process starts with these elements long before troops hit the ground.
L. J. De Rothschild