Djiboutian Armed Forces, also known as the Force Aérienne du Djibouti (FAD) soldiers completed their final test on 19 May, and graduated from Area Logistics Training, on 19 May.
The five month training with the U.S. Army Regionally Aligned Forces Soldiers taught the FAD several skills necessary for their new logistics company, US Africa Command said.
“Before they started it was basically non-existent; they took people from infantry, armor and from a whole bunch of different branches and reclassified them into logistics,” said U.S. Army Capt. Daniel Samuelson, RAF officer in charge of logistics training. “Prior to this (training) there was very little knowledge on sustainment operations and logistics operations so we started from zero or ground level.”
Approximately 90 FAD service members completed the three-phased training. The senior noncommissioned officers and officers were taught basic logistics functions, supply, economy, warehouse operations and maintenance during the first phase, said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Richard Keaton, RAF instructor. In the second phase the soldiers had the same training as the SNCOs and officers but were also trained in rifle marksmanship, mounted and dismounted convoy operations and heavy weapons.
“The third phase brought together the senior non-commissioned officers, officers and (junior) enlisted to collectively combine everything they have done in the last five months to execute one final event or test,” said Keaton.
Their final test involved them convoying through two lanes, testing their reaction to various situations including road blocks, identifying improvised explosive devices, vehicle recovery, medical emergencies, using proper chain of command and resupply.
“Now there is significant progress, they are a competent force and they have grown from nothing into something that they can deploy to Somalia,” Samuelson said.
“I am a better soldier now from this training because we learned a lot, we knew nothing before (the class),” said Wosam, FAD student. “And now we can do a lot of things we didn’t know before.”
During the graduation ceremony, FAD soldiers demonstrated skills similar to what they completed in their final test.
“(The training) helps the Djiboutian Army grow as a military, helping them prepare for future missions to Somalia or wherever the African Union wants to send them,” said Keaton. “To prepare them and be ready to react to anything they encounter and help them survive.”