The Army will continue to grow its partnerships in Africa, especially as the continent continues to grapple with threats from terror groups such as Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab and the Islamic State.

On any given day, about 2,000 U.S. soldiers are deployed to Africa to conduct theater security cooperation activities, train with African partners and participate in exercise.

In 2017, much of that work will be done by soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, as the unit is regionally-aligned with U.S. Army Africa.

Last year, soldiers from 2nd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, rotated in and out of the continent for exercises large and small, ranging from Central Accord, U.S. Army Africa's largest exercises to date on the continent, to small, military-to-military engagements.

Leaders expect a similar level of activity for soldiers from the 101st Airborne.

Also, dedicated to the Army's work in Africa are the headquarters for several brigade-level units that bring with them a variety of enabler capabilities. They include sustainment, medical, engineer, contracting, military intelligence and signal.

In 2017, U.S. Army Africa is looking to continue growing Central Accord and the Accord series of exercises, including a large Accord exercise in 2017, possibly in South Africa.

It also plans to continue conducting medical readiness exercises, which give Army medical personnel the opportunity to work alongside local doctors.

The Army also plans to continue conducting readiness training exercises in 2017. The very first such event took place in summer 2016, where a battalion-sized unit from the 3rd Infantry Division conducted platoon- and company-level live-fire training with the Senegalese army.

Plans call for at least one of these events every year, and discussions are already underway for the 2017 event, which could possibly be in Uganda.

Also happening in 2017 is the return of 3rd Special Forces Group to Africa.

The 3rd Special Forces Group had a Middle East and Africa focus when it was first activated in 1963. For the last 15 years, Special Forces soldiers from the group have deployed almost constantly to Afghanistan and, to a lesser extent, Iraq.

The transition back to Africa comes as demands and operations change around the world, and they mark a return to the continent for soldiers in 3rd Group.

Michelle Tan is the editor of Army Times and Air Force Times. She has covered the military for Military Times since 2005, and has embedded with U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Haiti, Gabon and the Horn of Africa.

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