Exercise Nectar Bend
Host Location: Ethiopia
Summary: Exercise Nectar Bend is a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) exercise that supports the broad efforts African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program in Ethiopia. ACOTA, which is managed by the US Department of State and supported by the US Department of Defense, provides training for African forces to support their deployment on peacekeeping and other contingency operations. The Nectar Bend exercise is described as a special operations forces field training exercise and is run by special operations forces personnel.
As of September 2012, no Nectar Bend exercise was planned for 2013, but one was planned for 2014, so it is unclear whether the exercise is normally annual or biennial. In addition, ACOTA replaced the African Crisis Response Initiative (ACRI) in 2004, which had also been US Department of State managed and US Department of Defense supported. ACRI was established in 1997 to provide the training later provided under ACOTA. Nectar Bend, however, had begun prior to 1997 before transitioning to support ACRI objectives. The United States and Ethiopia had agreed to a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) specifically in connection with Nectar Bend 94, which ran from 1 June through 7 July, 1994. The SOFA also covered future iterations of the exercise and US personnel otherwise in respect to their official duties. During the 1994 exercise, Captain Bryan L. Boyea, a physical therapist, attached to 5th Special Forces Group, deployed to Armed Forces General Hospital, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he supervised and directed the early post-operative rehabilitation of patients using the Ilizarov Method. This was the first subject matter expert exchange between the US and Ethiopian military medical community.