U.S. service members in Somalia recently conducted a joint Tactical Casualty Combat Care information exchange and mass casualty exercise with neighboring Ugandan African Union Mission in Somalia soldiers. The operation enhanced partner force interoperability and communication, and instilled enduring procedures for mass casualty events in the region.
“I was really impressed by the instructor team working with the Ugandan forces to learn how they might treat casualties and provide security while responding to an incident,” said U.S. Army Maj. Novneet Sahu, Task Force Warrior surgeon assigned to Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa, and lead instructor for the exchange. “Should we ever end up in a situation together where people are injured, we know we can work together on the same level to take care of our soldiers.”
Sahu credited the 411th Civil Affairs Battalion, also with CJTF-HOA, with paving the way for key leaders to engage, teach and train each other.
“I think it’s incredibly important to continue sustained civil engagement, especially in this area,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Barrey Paddock, 411th Civil Affairs Battalion NCO and team medic for the exercise. “We’ve been successful in demonstrating an excellent model for how that’s achievable.”
Paddock said the team was fortunate to have good working relations with AMISOM and Uganda People’s Defense Force Civil Military Coordinator, Ugandan Maj. Steven Byaruhanga, who developed a strong rapport with Civil Affairs during their time in Somalia.
“This was a good initiative by our American partners to train our soldiers to intervene and help our doctors if a problem comes up,” said Byaruhanga. “If we can continue working together then we should. Our soldiers were very happy and asking for more courses.”
Byaruhanga said that without the help of Civil Affairs, the UPDF in the region may not have opportunities to train and prepare for potential attacks.
“Instilling TCCC, reacting to an IED, small unit tactics and battle drills are huge to keep going forward,” said U.S. Army Capt. Kurt Jamora, a 411th Civil Affairs Battalion team chief overseeing civil engagement operations in the region. “As long as we impart that knowledge on the UPDF, who can impart it onto the Somalis, we’ll be successful.”
Jamora said he looks forward to sustained U.S. civil engagements with UPDF and Somali National Army partners in the region.
“For them, being able to stand on their own would be the win,” said Jamora. “That’s the end state we all work to get to.”