Some 1,653 troops from West Africa and France will participate in Exercise DEGGO XXVII, a command post and field training exercise taking place at Thies,
Senegal to strengthen the capacity of the Task Force (TF) component of the ECOWAS Standby Force (ESF) towards making it functional by 2008.
The task force component comprises 1,500 of the 6, 500 strong ESF being created for deployment in Peace Support Operations (PSO) as specified under the
African Union security architecture that requires that regional peacekeeping forces become operational by 2010.
The 11-day exercise, which begins on 29th November 2007, will test the deployment and sustainment capabilities of the TF, the Command and Control of the various Headquarters in PSO at the operational and tactical levels and the strategic relationship with partners in the areas of troops lift/deployment, logistics and operational support in the field.
expanded at the request of the ECOWAS Standby Force Task Force to enable it gauge its level of preparedness for the likely tasks that could be saddled with at Operational and Tactical Levels in a Peace Support Operations setting.
Participating troops will be drawn from the ECOWAS Standby Force Task Force, the Senegalese Armed Forces, the French Forces based in Cape Verde and the armed forces of Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Guinea and Mali.
The Chief of Staff for the ESF, General Hassan Lai of Nigeria is leading the forces elements in the exercise.
The Exercise, which will be crowned with a Very Important Persons (VIPs) Day on 7 December 2007 will also include a Civil-Military Enhancement Project which entails the rehabilitation of a well, renovation of an Islamic Women’s School and offering of Medicare to the populace of a village in the area of the Exercise.