DJIBOUTI CITY, Djibouti - Nearly 40 soldiers from the Djiboutian Armed Forces, (Forces Armees Djiboutiennes, or FAD) participated in night vision goggle training Oct. 9-12.
The training, conducted by members of the U.S. Army’s Charlie Company, 411th Civil Affairs Battalion which is currently mobilized to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, comes as the Djiboutian troops prepare for a two-year deployment to Somalia, as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia’s effort to remove al-Shabaab from the region.
“This will be beneficial for night patrolling, and we will be able to attack the enemy during the night,” said Djiboutian Army Cpl. Marhdi.
Given his background training as a sniper, Marhdi said the NVGs and training he and his fellow soldiers received will better prepare his team to go into Somalia and perform combat operations. “We’ll be able to see them before they see us,” he said.
Along with how to wear a set of NVGs, the course also taught the soldiers about the kit’s components, accountability, proper care and usage of the gear, and tactics such as signaling teammates. The training also included exercises where a small team would use their NVGs to navigate obstacles in a darkened building to find a designated object.
“My goal was to make this a train-the-trainer setting,” said U.S. Army Capt. Samuel Lee, C Co., 411th CA BN team leader. “We trained a select group of people to not only use NVGs effectively, but to teach them to teach others. That way, you create a sustainable cycle.”
The Djiboutian soldiers will soon deploy with more tools and abilities to push violent extremist organizations out of Somalia after completing the night vision course.