Members of the US military’s Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility, located at Royal Air Force Base Molesworth, England travelled recently to Djibouti to conduct Security Assistance Training for members of the Djiboutian Armed Forces (FAD).
The three-week course coordinated by members of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa was held to aid the military forces serving as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia in building security capability and capacity.
Lt. Cmdr. Kevin Gilroy, CJ2 operations officer, said the objective of the training was to, “further develop interoperability among the host nation security forces, the U.S. and other international partners, with the ultimate goal of preparing our forces to work jointly in countering violent extremist organizations.”
The course included lessons on security functions, critical thinking, counterinsurgency operations, and briefing.
“This training is going to help us organize, research and plan our operations in our areas of responsibility,” said Capt. Isman Obsiye Hoch, FAD Chief S3 Rapid Action Response Force.
In addition to providing CJTF-HOA’s East African partners with valuable security assistance training, the course was also designed to help strengthen partnerships.
“These relationships are not new; we have been working together for years,” said Hoch. “Each year our staffs come together and plan these kinds of courses, and by doing so it keeps our relationships strong and growing.”
Senior enlisted leaders of the Djiboutian Armed Forces (FAD) visited Camp Lemonnier for the first time on December 29, 2015, to meet with command senior enlisted leaders of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa.
The leaders convened with the intent of sharing their professional advice and networking with influential military figures from the host nation.
“We’re here for leadership development,” said U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Butler Kendrick, CJTF-HOA command senior enlisted leader.
The visit consisted of several briefings, a meal at the military dining facility and a base tour.
“We do what we can to ensure they have the skillset and capability to provide what they can for their country without us being by their side,” Kendrick said. “In the long run, we enable our partners to protect and defend their country without needing the assistance of coalition partners.”
The main focus of the briefings was the current situation in Somalia and the African Union mission there to neutralize Al-Shabaab and stabilize the country.
“We received knowledge about the region and more information that we didn’t have before,” said Sgt. Maj. Ibrahim Yabeh, a FAD senior enlisted leader. “We’re very grateful to participate and share the information.”
Along with providing important information, the partnerships built and strengthened between the leaders is also vital for ensuring mission success.
“If we show them how things are done by [U.S. forces], it’s up to them to take information back to use in their military, their culture and their country,” Kendrick said.
Kendrick emphasized that visits like these are important to the development of U.S. and coalition partners’ military leaders. Key leaders share best practices and attendees are encouraged to implement what they want amongst their forces.
“[Developing as leaders] is why we’re here,” Yabeh said. “I’m [excited] to give all the information I’ve learned to my people, and I hope the sharing of information and culture will continue.”