Department of State Sponsors East Africa Counterterrorism Exercise

The Department of State is launching the capstone exercise of its annual East Africa Joint Operation (EAJO) counterterrorism training event in Kenya.

EAJO 2019, conducted through the Department’s Antiterrorism Assistance (ATA) program, is focused on border security training and involves more than 120 law enforcement personnel from Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania.  The live exercise was preceded by six weeks of intensive courses and consultations with ATA instructors.

This year’s capstone exercise simulates small-scale attacks by terrorists in the rural border areas of northern Kenya.  The exercise provides participating law enforcement officers an opportunity to demonstrate and refine their capabilities in tactical response to a terrorist event and conduct of a terrorism investigation.  The exercise aims to assist participating nations to better secure their semi-porous borders and respond to attacks in rural border areas by improving cross-border communication and coordination at the strategic, operational, and tactical levels.

EAJO, which has taken place regularly since 2014, advances the protection of U.S. citizens and interests in the region by helping to strengthen critical capacities of our foreign law enforcement partners and enhances regional partners’ ability to effectively and appropriately respond to terrorist attacks within the rule of law.

The exercise is being conducted by the Department of State’s Bureau for Diplomatic Security Office of Antiterrorism Assistance, in close collaboration with the Bureau for Counterterrorism and Countering Violent Extremism and the Bureau for African Affairs.