French expertise boosts Mozambican soldier skills

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A French connection was a training plus for Mozambican soldiers adding to their military skillsets ahead of deployment against terrorists in Cabo Delgado.

The mobile training team from the Forces Armées dans la Zone Sud de l’Océan Indien (FAZSOI) augmented the European Union Training Mission Mozambique (EUTM Moz) for a month to train Mozambique Defence Armed Forces (Forças Armadas de Defesa de Moçambique FADM).

The 13 French soldiers from the 2e Régiment de Parachutistes d’infanterie de Marine (2e RPIMa) are no strangers to the east African country having been previously deployed in Maputo and Chimoio to train in the combat service and support (CSS) realm. Their training regime for the Mozambican troops concentrate on quick reaction force (QRF) doctrine as this is what lies ahead for them.

The 2eRPIMa is based on La Reunion with geographic proximity, availability and knowledge makes them valuable allies to improve FADM quick reaction troops an EUTM Moz statement said.

Weapons maintenance, mechanics of vehicles, boats and small equipment, as well as combat first aid and logistics convoys were some training subjects delivered by the FAZSOI. The QRF CSS platoon made “enormous progress” in these fields and is now fully able to carry out its mission the statement said.

In addition to this training FAZSOI included drone operations and motorised combat training.

Light drones were recently delivered to the FADM through the European Peace Facility (EPF) urgent measures programme with the French specialists teaching the reconnaissance squad how to use them. These drones will provide the Mozambican QRF with a new capacity for surveillance missions, short range detection and intelligence gathering, without taking risks and endangering life.

New vehicles were provided by EU and used for motorised combat training. Based on expertise gained in the Sahel, the FAZSOI trained all QRF platoons on procedures against improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The Mozambican quick reaction troops can now protect themselves against this type of attack and to react effectively if needed.