|Burkina Faso troops. Photo by Spc. Britany Slessman.|
U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has been releasing press releases during the past few days promoting the opening of Exercise Flintlock 2017 in the seven host nations in western Africa. (Notably, Nigeria, where Boko Haram originated and maintains a strong presence, is not one of the seven host nations.) A Feb. 27 press release specified that the special operations exercise is meant to help African nations fight terrorist groups such as Boko Haram.
Shared tactics and regional cooperation learned at Flintlock 17 can be effectively put into use in the multinational fight against violent extremist organizations such as Boko Haram, ISIS and Al Qaeda in the Maghreb.
Additionally, U.S. explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) troops were in at least some of the same nations (as well as Nigeria) in February training African troops on how to counter improvised explosive devices (IED). A March 1 press release at DVIDS specified the training was related to the fight against Boko Haram.
“To sum up; IEDs are one of the main threat to our units on the field,” said Yahaya. “This training will help the various units of [MNJTF] engineers as they fight in Diffa, Niger, against Boko Haram, in Agadez, Niger, and in Mali against the jihadists to respond more efficiently against IEDs.”
SCI published an assessment in 2015 on the fight against Boko Haram.