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Nigerien National Police officers with the Diplomatic Security Service's (DSS) Special Program for Embassy Augmentation and Response (SPEAR) team take a "suspect" into custody (rear) as other officers continue their search of a suspected "terrorist safe house" during the multinational Flintlock 2018 counterterrorism exercise in Niamey, April 18, 2018. DSS provides training and equipment for the SPEAR teams to serve as a quick reaction force for embassies in crisis. (U.S. Department of State Photo)

The U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) is participating in Flintlock, U.S. Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) annual and largest Special Operations Forces exercise in Africa.

The largest civilian component to Flintlock 2018 is the law enforcement training and equipment provided under the State Department’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program.

Through a partnership with the ATA program, this year’s exercise marks the most thorough integration of civilian equities into Flintlock yet. The law enforcement component will build upon the cross-border counterterrorism communication, coordination, and response at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels between military and civilian law enforcement to counter terrorist threats and attacks.

In general, the law enforcement integration into Flintlock provides a series of training sessions focusing on tactical rural patrol and crisis response capabilities, counterterrorism investigations, command and communication management, post blast and crime scene investigations, community engagement, and human rights. The State Department will also integrate rule of law engagement and humanitarian border management training into components of the exercise.

The State Department is proud to be part of this exercise and values this opportunity for information sharing and integration of civilian law enforcement with the military to increase security sector and multinational interoperability and cooperation in the fight against terrorism and terrorist organizations.

Flintlock exercises have taken place regularly since 2005 with partner nations from the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) and are planned by African partner nation special operations forces; Special Operations Command, Africa (SOCAFRICA); and the U.S. Department of State.

Along with DSS and other department personnel, approximately 1,900 service members from 20 African and Western partner nations will participate in Flintlock at multiple locations in Niger, Burkina Faso, and Senegal from April 9-20, 2018.

Participating African nations include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal. Western partners include Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Follow DSS on Facebook  and Twitter  #Flintlock2018 to learn more.

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Senegalese and Nigerien Law enforcement investigators -- trained through the U.S. Department of State's Antiterrorism Assistance program -- examine and record evidence at a "terrorist safe house" during the multinational Flintlock 2018 counterterrorism exercise in Niamey, April 18, 2018. (U.S. Department of State Photo)

U.S. Department of State

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