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Translated from French-speaking media in Mali


Le Quotidien de Bamako; 21 April 2010 (reporter: Dieudonné Diama)

Exercise Flintlock 10 The Military at the Forefront of Terrorism Prior to start of the military exercise Flintlock 2010, the USEMB in Mali organized last Monday April 19 a press luncheon to inform journalists of the aspects. It was a lunch during which, they discussed by telephone with Max Blumenfeld, Communication official of the American Command in Europe. Initially planned from 2 to 23 May, the exercise Flintlock 2010 starts today April 21 to end on May 25. It seems to be an opportunity with a view to of generating a unified vision for cooperation and stability in the Trans-Saharan area. In his turn, Max Blumenfeld explained why the Flintlock exercise is a military training which occurs each year to fight against terrorism in the Trans-Saharan area. For him, it is an exercise which has existed for several years, and whose objective is to develop much stronger relations between the military forces, to allow the various countries to exchange ideas to face terrorism, with the drug trafficking, of weapons and human beings which occurs in the area. Also, it (note: the exercise) aims to reinforce military interoperability as a base for security and stability in the region. It is an issue of making it possible for local security forces to ensure the safety in the region. For this year, the exercise is summarized with military trainings in Senegal, in Mali, in Mauritania and in Nigeria. Thus, a multinational center of coordination will be established in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) in order to be used as focal point for the dissemination of multinational information as well as the planning of joint operations. At this center, representatives of the partner nations will have training phase which will lead to a command practical exercise which will integrate teaching, the creation of scenarios and a control group. . This is with an aim of improving the capacity of the participants to be work together in order to solve a possible crisis consisting of illicit activities which would disturb stability in the rural areas. The exercise will also include training of small units as well as other partner nation and U.S. military activities in the sub-region. In particular medical and veterinary action programs (MEDCAP) and (VETCAP) will be conducted with an aim of bringing to the rural populations access to basic medical and medical information.

Let us recall that this exercise will be carried out in the context of the partnership in the fight against terrorism in the Trans-Saharan area under the supervision (note: “umbrella”) of the American command of Africa (note: USAFRICOM) and the command of special operations of Africa. (note: SAOCAFRICA). Let us note that this exercise will consist of 1200 personnel including approximately 350 individuals in Mali. Flintlock is a military exercise intended to develop the capacities of the military units and staffs of the African nations, Europeans and the US. Of note is that the communication official could not travel to Bamako because of the closing of the air lines in Europe, due to a cloud of volcanic ash.