Seychelles' maritime security centre expected to play major role in future Cutlass Express exercises
Fourteen countries from the region participated in the exercise with a total of 320 representatives. (Seychelles News Agency)
The Regional Centre for Operational Coordination based in Seychelles is expected to play an instrumental role in coordinating the Cutlass Express regional exercise led by the United States Naval Forces Africa.
To learn more about the centre, the newly accredited Canadian high commissioner to Seychelles, Kyle Nunas, the British high commissioner to Seychelles, Patrick Lynch, and the United States counsellor and special advisor to Seychelles, Jim Donegan – each representing three countries supporting the military exercise – visited the facility on Thursday.
"What I hear from both sides is that this is an operation that is working extremely well. We have not only lessons to bring to Seychelles, but we have lots to take back to Canada in what is a two-way exchange," said Nunas.
The deputy British high commissioner, Matthew Harper, who was also at the facility, said that he appreciates the efforts that Great Britain and Seychelles put into this exercise.
"Unfortunately, we do not have a ship in the region, but we put a lot of effort in Cutlass Express," said Harper, before adding that "what is important for something like this is information and how it can be shared effectively."
He added that up to now, everything is working well and hopes that it continues.
On his side, Donegan said that the U.S. will keep giving all its support to ensure maritime security in the region.
"The purpose of Cutlass Express is to address the problems in the maritime region here collectively, with all countries involved putting together their assets, intelligence and capabilities, to address these increasing security threats," said Donegan.
The 13th edition of the Cutlass Express - a maritime exercise that takes place every year to promote national and regional maritime security in East Africa and the western Indian Ocean - has once more been described as a success.
Fourteen countries from the region participated in the exercise with a total of 320 representatives, including 30 Seychellois. The exercise took place in Mauritius, Kenya and Seychelles.
The exercise is designed to assess and improve combined maritime law enforcement capacity, promote national and regional security and increase interoperability between the regional navies.
All participants in Seychelles were presented with certificates and tokens, which were issued between the participating countries and agencies and a similar ceremony also took place in Mauritius, where the majority of Seychelles' troops took part.