With support from regionally aligned forces from 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kan., U.S. Army Africa trained more than 4,000 troops in Chad, Guinea, and Malawi in March.
This USARAF training continues to provide different African nations with help in securing their own borders, thereby helping them secure the region, and protecting U.S. interests.
“Second Bde., 1st Inf. Div. did an incredible amount of work in their preparation and training,” said Maj. Lee Torres from USARAF SCD. “They lived in austere environments and worked with our African Partners to improve the level of training and preparation for a UN deployment. They leveraged their experiences and improved bi-lateral relationships with their interaction with the host nations.”
Sgt. Maj. John Dudas from USARAF Operations and Plans concurred.
“The junior noncommissioned officers and Soldiers assigned to the RAF should be recognized for their work during these missions,” Dudas said. “They are the ones who executed the plans and should be given the proper credit. Once they empowered to do the mission, they were confident and competent in their duties.”
USARAF’s mission of protecting and defending national security interests is accomplished by strengthening African land forces. USARAF leveraged relationships with partner nations like the United Kingdom to provide a multi-national approach to training. USARAF partnered with the British Peace Support Training Team in South Africa to train and mentor the Malawi Infantry Battalion.
“By helping Africans help themselves, it means that we don’t have to get involved ourselves. If Africans are solving African problems, then the U.S. government doesn’t have to use the U.S. Army to solve African problems,” said Maj. Albert Conley III, USARAF's Counter Terrorism Desk Officer for International Military Engagements. “By having a conglomerate of nations in the African Union going into [a particular country] to help fix that nation’s problems, American servicemen won’t have to go into ‘that’ country to help fix that problem,” he said.
Training these troops in Chad, Guinea and Malawi is an example of the impact USARAF’s training is making on the continent to prevent atrocities and provide a stabilizing influence.
"Patrolling, fixed-site defense, and live fire training were central tasks presented to all three countries,” Dudas said. “However, in Malawi, it was one third U.S. and two-thirds British Army who provided the training. We provided the live-fire training and they provided the rest.”
The goal of the recent training of 4,000 troops in Chad, Guinea and Malawi was to assist African Partners in their preparation for United Nations Peace Keeping Operations for which their respective governments have accepted from the United Nations.