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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 033-98
January 27, 1998

DOD DEPLOYS FORCES TO MALI TO CONDUCT PEACEKEEPING TRAINING

In continued support of the U.S. strategy to enhance the peacekeeping capacities of selected African militaries, the Secretary of Defense has directed the U.S. European Command to initiate the next series of training for those African nations which have committed units to the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) training program.

Approximately 70 soldiers from the U.S. Army's 3rd Special Forces Group headquartered at Ft. Bragg, N.C., along with other support troops are scheduled to deploy between February 1 and February 5, to begin training a battalion in Mali. Since the ACRI training program began in July 1997, the 3rd Special Forces Group has trained forces in Senegal, Uganda, and Malawi.

ACRI is a bilateral training initiative intended to work with African states to create highly effective, rapidly-deployable peacekeeping units, that can operate jointly in the event of a humanitarian crisis or in a traditional peacekeeping operation. It is conducted in coordination with African partners, the Organization of African Unity and the U.N. It is also coordinated with and complements the training efforts of several other African and non-African nations, including the UK and France.

More information on this program can be accessed through the European Command homepage at http://www.eucom.mil/.

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