Officers of the Ugandan Senior Command and Staff College visited Camp Lemonnier from September 7 to 11, 2009 to learn about Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa's staff, coalition and regional partners' missions, operations, and execution of staff functions.
"The purpose of the visit was to expose the officers to the Combined Joint Task Force operations setting, which are a part of their curriculum in their studies," said Ugandan Peoples' Defence Force Lieutenant Colonel Richard Karemire, Ugandan liaison officer.
Throughout the visit, the officers were given the opportunity to attend many different briefings from command and staff regarding CJTF-HOA missions, and HOA operations in general.
"The actual mission that we have seen here will help us to know how to interact with the Combined Joint Task Force personnel who come to work with us," said Major David Tweheyo, a SCSC student. "It will be easier for us to translate this to the people we lead, so that they understand your presence here and your activities because it is very important for the region."
The visit was not only beneficial to the students, but also to the staff and agencies here at Camp Lemonnier. Many of CJTF-HOA and camp leaders formed professional relationships with the students.
"Clearly, the Ugandans are becoming one of our valued partners in the region and whatever we can do to help them continue to develop their officer corps is going to give us long-term benefits in their ability to play a stabilizing and a positive role in East Africa and the Horn of Africa," said U.S. Army Colonel Steven Dalzell, CJTF-HOA J7 commander. "Each of our missions is somewhat different in training or ground or maritime operations, but we are all a part of the same big effort within East Africa."
The SCSC officers are the next generation of senior leaders from their respective countries, and this visit aimed to help them improve their leadership abilities.
"It is not unrealistic that some of the students here, in two-to-three year's time, are going to be general officers; they're going to be leaders within the UPDF or within the Kenyan armed forces or Tanzanian Peoples' Defense Force," said U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Eric Flowers, CJTF-HOA J7 deputy commander.
Kalyebara agrees. "This visit gave leaders here a chance to interact with the officers who may become Ugandan's future senior commanders and this is good for future joint operations."
The students also visited the French Forces Djiboutian Headquarters and a Turkish ship that is participating in maritime operations.
"Personally, I don't think any of us would ever have expected to be speaking with a Turkish ship captain, and Ugandan and Kenyan generals in a port in Djibouti when we started our military careers," said Dalzell.
This visit resulted from a request the UPDF submitted to CJTF-HOA through the U.S. Embassy in Kampala and specifically through the office of the Defense Attaché.
"We are very grateful that Admiral Kurta granted our request and the entire CJTF-HOA leadership for accepting to host these officers," said Karemire.