On Sept. 1, 2021, fourteen Forces Armees Nigeriennes (FAN) vehicle mechanics from Niamey, Ouallam, Diffa and Terra, and a two-person Mobile Training Team from the Indiana National Guard concluded a two-week knowledge exchange that focused on basic automotive theory, electrical theory, and basic troubleshooting related to the MAMBA Armored Personnel Carrier.
During the second week of the exchange the FAN mechanics applied their new skills and knowledge with hands-on practice including transmission disassemble and reassemble and multi-meter troubleshooting of engine, transmission and electrical components, building on the mechanical skills they will be able to implement during future operations.
“Indiana has been the state partner with Niger since 2017, and we are thankful for opportunities like this to work with our Nigerien counterparts, said U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jason Helmsing, one of the course instructors with the Indiana National Guard. "We not only get to teach them new skills, but we learn so much from them, which makes us better too. It is motivating to work with the Nigerien Soldiers, they are eager to learn, extremely knowledgeable, and take pride in their craftsmanship."
“The hands-on mechanical training provided by the Indiana National Guard was very beneficial and the knowledge we received will help us to maintain our Mamba vehicles," said Nigerien Adjutant-Chief Yahaya Mahamadou, who participated in the training. "We are very appreciative and always welcome training provided by the United States because they consistently deliver the best training.”
The U.S. has now donated 90 Mamba armored personnel carriers that are utilized by the FAN across the country in the fight against terrorism. The training provided by the U.S. Indiana National Guard will enable FAN Soldiers to maintain the vehicles and keep them operational.