News | June 10, 2021

DTRA’s Partners in North and West Africa Counter-Weapons of Mass Destruction

By Jessica Lewis

FORT BELVOIR, Va.-- The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) is supporting the Kingdom of Morocco and Senegal develop counter-weapons of mass destruction (CWMD) capabilities under the Counter-Weapons of Mass Destruction Security Cooperation Engagement Program (CSCEP) and partnering in U.S. Africa Command’s (USAFRICOM) Exercise AFRICAN LION 21, a full-scale exercise 7-18 June 2021.

Exercise African Lion 2021 is U.S. Africa Command's largest, premier, joint, annual exercise hosted by Morocco, Tunisia and Senegal. More than 7,000 participants from nine nations and NATO train together with a focus on enhancing readiness for U.S. and partner nation forces. AL21 is a multi-domain, multi-component, and multi-national exercise, which employs a full array of mission capabilities with the goal to strengthen interoperability among participants.

DTRA’s CSCEP has been a long-time partner of the Kingdom of Morocco and Senegal and the partnership provides the opportunity to learn best-practices from each other. As premier partners in North and West Africa, DTRA continually conducts refresher and sustainment training on Chemical, Biological, Radioactive and Nuclear (CBRN) response tactics, techniques and procedures necessary to stay ahead of the emerging risks and threats.

“Morocco and Senegal are priority partners in the region with regard to WMD counter-proliferation,” said Mr. David Musgrave, director, On-Site Inspection and Building Capacity Directorate. He continued, “we have generated trained and ready forces, capable of conducting CBRN response operations and supporting the CWMD mission in USAFRICOM and USG Integrated Country Strategy objectives.”

DTRA CSCEP training has been coordinated with the U.S. Embassies in Dakar, and Rabat, USAFRICOM, Morocco and Senegal’s State Partner Programs, the Utah and Vermont National Guard.

DTRA’s CSCEP is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) lead program for developing partner nation CWMD response capabilities through security cooperation activities that train and equip foreign military and civilian responders across the tactical, operational, and strategic mission space to develop new, or enhance existing capabilities to prepare for and effectively respond to CBRN incidents and to support the CWMD mission.

These efforts support Geographic Combatant Command’s (GCC) theater campaign plans and Department of State (DOS)/US Embassy Integrated Country Strategies.  CSCEP works with and through the GCCs to address specific plans and objectives.