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NATO provides support for African Union's exercise: NATO

BRUSSELS, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- NATO provided support for the African Union's field training exercise, namely Amani Africa II in South Africa, the security organization said in a press release Monday.

The African Union has conducted its most comprehensive military exercise from Oct. 19 to Nov. 7 with approximately 3,000 personnel from 29 member states. The aim of the exercise was to test and evaluate the African Standby Force (ASF) for the first time.

The ASF is a rapid reaction force similar to the NATO Response Force, and it's deployable within 14 days to any place on the African continent. Allied Joint Forces Command Naples, a NATO military command based in Italy, supported the exercise with providing experienced evaluators and public affairs experts.

With the assistance of the JFC Naples'specialists, the African Union assessed the level of readiness, the deployability and the capabilities of its high readiness force to keep the ASF ready and capable for future challenges, according to NATO.

"Cooperation between NATO and the African Union has deepened steadily for a number of years," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said at the occasion of Exercise Amani Africa II taking place in South Africa.

"The Amani Africa II exercise provides a further example of our excellent cooperation," said NATO chief.

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