Exercise Noble Piper
Host Location: Kenya
Summary: Exercise Noble Piper is an annual Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) exercise that supports the broad efforts African Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program in Kenya. 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 Noble Piper exercise is described as a special operations forces field training exercise, but this likely has to do with the fact that it is run by special operations forces personnel. The exercise does not appear to be related to Exercise Eastern Piper except that it is conducted by special operations forces annually.
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. It is unclear whether Noble Piper began in 1997 as a component of ACRI or whether it had existed before and transitioned to support ACRI objectives. Exercise Nectar Bend, for instance, had existed prior to the establishment of ACRI, but subsequently transitioned to support ACRI objectives.