Exercise Eastern Piper
Host Location: Various
Summary: Exercise Eastern Piper is an annual special operations field training exercise sponsored by US Africa Command (AFRICOM) and conducted by Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA). The exercise is a foreign internal defense structured counter-terrorist based exercise designed to deploy and train US special operations task force elements in roles and missions for a potential theater-wide crisis in support of AFRICOM operations plans. The exercise takes place in various locations in Africa. The exercise does not appear to be related to Exercise Noble Piper except that it is conducted by special operations forces annually.
Sources also suggest that the 2012 iteration of the exercise was initially planned to be held in Kenya, but was in fact held in Bostwana. The same sources also say that elements of 19th Special Forces Group (Airborne) were to be the exercise force, but elements from the 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) deployed instead. Eastern Piper 12 was reportedly the first combined field training exercise between the US and Bostwana in 10 years.
The 2013 iteration of Exercise Eastern Piper was also described not as a field training exercise, but as a special operations forces symposium. It is not clear from the available sources whether the goals of the Eastern Piper exercise are flexible from year to year, if this indicated a permanent shift in the goals of the exercise, or whether this was an exception.