Saharan Express 2015 Takes Place in the Waters Off West Africa

Members of the Senegalese military approach the Portuguese navy frigate Bartolomeu Dias (F-333) for a visit, board, search and seizure drill during Exercise Saharan Express 2015 (U.S. Navy photo)
Members of the Senegalese military approach the Portuguese navy frigate Bartolomeu Dias (F-333) for a visit, board, search and seizure drill during Exercise Saharan Express 2015 (U.S. Navy photo)

The Honorable James P. Zumwalt, the American Ambassador to the Republic of Senegal, on Monday April 27 at the National Marine Naval Base, presided over the closure of a multinational exercise namedSaharan Express 2015, which took place from April 20 to 27 off the coast of Senegal, Cabo Verde and Mauritania.

Saharan Express 2015, sponsored and facilitated by U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), is designed to improve regional cooperation, maritime domain awareness (MDA), information-sharing practices, and tactical interdiction expertise to counter sea-based illicit activity in the region.

For this major operation, several naval assets were engaged, requiring a total of five maritime operations centers (MOCs) located in Dakar, Senegal; Praia, Cabo Verde; Nouakchott, Mauritania; Rabat, Morocco; and the U.S. 6th Fleet MOC in Naples, Italy.  Nine ships and four maritime patrol aircraft engaged in these maritime security scenarios. Participating nations in Saharan Express 2015 include Cabo Verde, France, Mauritania, Morocco, Portugal, Senegal, Spain, Turkey, and the United States.