Altogether 23 Somali police officers (2 of them women) from the Maritime Police Units of Bosaso, Puntland, and Mogadishu have successfully completed the CUTLASS Express 19.2 (CE19.2) exercise in Djibouti where they trained alongside maritime law enforcement officers from Djibouti, Egypt, France, Georgia, Greece, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, and the USA. The Somali team was the biggest group participating in the exercise and the only team with female officers.
The exercise conducted on 28/10-4/11 tested participating nations’ ability to respond to illicit trafficking, piracy, and illegal fishing.
This was the first time the officers from Bosaso participated CUTLASS Express, for the Mogadishu MPU this was already the third CUTLASS competed. The exercise was preceded by a one-week Force Integration Training in Mogadishu, funded by EUCAP and supported by UNODC. During the preparatory training the two units levelled off their skills in VBSS (Visit, Boarding, Search and Seizure) operations using the Major Mohamed Botaan training facility recently delivered by EUCAP.
Cutlass Express is a yearly maritime law enforcement exercise organised by US Africa Command and executed by US Naval forces, Africa. The overall purpose of CE19.2 is to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security in East Africa and increase interoperability between the US., African nations, and international partners.