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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 128-98
March 24, 1998

DOD DEPLOYS FORCES TO GHANA 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., accompanied by a Belgian military training element, along with U.S. support troops are scheduled to deploy on or about April 1, 1998, to begin training a battalion-size unit in Ghana. Other African nations that have joined the U.S. in an ACRI partnership include: Senegal, Uganda, Malawi, Mali and Ethiopia.

Since the ACRI training program began in July 1997, the 3rd Special Forces Group has trained forces in Senegal, Uganda, Malawi, and is currently training forces in Mali. The ACRI includes follow-on sustainment training twice a year after the completion of the initial training. ACRI sustainment training began in March 1998 in Senegal and Uganda.

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 United Nations It is also coordinated with and complements the training efforts of several other African and non-African nations, including the United Kingdom and France.

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