Recently, U.S. Army Africa’s Office of the Provost Marshal coordinated training for more than 55 Burkina Faso Forces Gendarmerie to improve and increase their operational capacity in border security.
The event took place Nov. 4-22 with the Burkina Faso Gendarmerie equipped and trained to build and improve their frontier patrols focusing on counterterrorism operations.
“We integrated a multidisciplinary approach in the Gendarme sustainment training within Burkina Faso,” said Lt. Col. Edwin Escobar, USARAF’s Provost Marshal. “USARAF’s OPM, shaped this theater security cooperation event with assistance from a diverse group of trainers from our regionally aligned force, the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team located at Fort Riley, Kan.,” he said. “The concept is called Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational and with the RAF, introduced Italian Carabinieri, the International Criminal Police Organization also known as INTERPOL and AWG representatives to the training team.”
Italian Carabinieri warrant officers Andrea Guida and Marco Rigoni with the Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units known as CoESPU, augmented RAF instructors during the three-week event. In addition to the CoESPU instructors, training assistance was provided by advisors from the U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group, INTERPOL, and its Integrated Border Management Task Force.
Escobar said the Italian representatives from the CoESPU introduced additional international expertise developed by the Carabinieri who have served in several peace-keeping missions over the past three decades.
“Overall, this Gendarmerie training emphasized train-the-trainer to educate and instruct leadership and peers to be a more responsive and effective regional contingency force to all areas along Burkina Faso borders,” Escobar said.
He explained the scope of training the Italian instructors from CoESPU delivered.
“The Carabinieri focused on international and humanitarian law, rules of engagement as well as police techniques in a hostile environment,” Escobar said. Warrant Officer 3 Andrea Guida benefited from the event on two levels.
“The Burkina Faso training was professionally and personally a very good experience for me. It was an honor to share this with all our friends from the U.S. and I can say we became a family in working and living together.
“The Burkinabe Gendarmerie training was a unique effort. I think we helped improve the Burkinabe police techniques and see there is still much more we can do to help their organization," Guida said. “The work should constantly continue because all this activity will help prevent potential hostile border situations. What we give is little and what we can get back is immeasurable.”
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Marco Rigoni explains the role of Italian Carabinieri.