U.S. Army Africa Inspector General Soldiers travel to Liberia

CAMP SANDEE WARE, Liberia – Recently, a two-man traveling contact team (TCT) from U.S. Army Africa Inspector General’s Office shared professional knowledge with 18 officers and NCOs of Armed Forces of Liberia during a week-long engagement.

At the request of the AFL, Capt. James Watson and Sgt. 1st Class Bobby Conn journeyed to Camp Sandee Ware, near Monrovia, Liberia, to assist in development of an Inspector General cell.

According to Watson, AFL is a relatively newly formed and compact organization.

“AFL is about eight years old and they are standing up their first IG cell,” Watson said. “The Republic of Liberia is a small West African nation with a young and ambitious armed force. AFL is an evolving and developing organization. This was the fourth USARAF IG TCT visit to Liberia and our goals included reviewing and helping AFL to refine their newly drafted IG doctrine.”

In the U.S. Army, the Office of the Inspector General assists commanders in determining the state of discipline, efficiency and other areas of concern. Often they are asked to work as a problem-solving and impartial fact-finding agency with the objective of helping Soldiers, Families and civilians resolve issues of concern, impropriety or wrongdoing. An IG office is often the place where complaints from these stake-holders are received, investigated and resolved.


For the rest of this story visit: http://www.usaraf.army.mil/NEWS/NEWS_130322_igtct.htmlImage


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U.S. Army Africa team facilitates intelligence course in Democratic Republic of Congo

ourneyed to The Democratic Republic of the Congo to run a three-week Basic Intelligence Course for 29 members of the Forces Armées de la République Démocratique du Congo known as FARDC.

USARAF’s Lt. Col. Chris Dillard and Master Sgt. Frederick Blackburn conducted the course with assistance of two French interpreters at FARDC’s advanced military school group known as Groupement des Ecoles Supérieures Militaires or GESM near Kinshasa. Dillard and Blackburn are part of the security cooperation section of USARAF’s G-2, Intelligence Directorate.

“As part of security cooperation and assistance, we worked with a group of FARDC military personnel to show them the basics of information collection and analysis and how it can be used by their commanders to support decision they make,” Dillard said.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is located in Equatorial Africa and has a land mass roughly equal to one-quarter of the U.S. It is a former French colony with the official language being French.

French-fluent instructors from the Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility, Molesworth, United Kingdom, ensured a smooth flow of course work. Papa Sall, lead instructor, and Garry Blood worked along with Dillard and Blackburn to provided blocks of instruction on writing for intelligence reports, intelligence preparation of the environment, information collection management, as well as intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance known as ISR.


For the rest of this story visit http://www.usaraf.army.mil/NEWS/NEWS_130325_intel.htmlImage

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U.S. chaplains conduct counseling training for Malawi Defense Force

VICENZA, Italy – Hardships that come with returning from a deployment can greatly affect Soldiers and their family members. This concept not only applies to American Soldiers, but Soldiers from other countries as well.

In an effort to help soldiers of the Malawi Defense Force (MDF) deal with redeployment challenges, two U.S. Chaplains traveled to Lilongwe, Malawi to teach solution-focused therapy concepts to 28 MDF chaplains and chaplain assistants March 4-8.

Chap. (Lt. Col.) Scott A. Hammond, U.S. Army Africa deputy chaplain, said MDF soldiers are facing some of the same challenges as American Soldiers just coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan.

“The timing is right because they [MDF] are experiencing the same things we do when coming back from a deployment, such as finances, marriage/family counseling, drugs and alcohol — similar things that our

Soldiers go through,” said Hammond, a Millersburg, Ohio native. “Because they don’t have a lot of the agencies we have, they wanted a tool to use like military family life consultants and behavior health,” he said.

Chap. (Col.) Augustine Matchumbuza, MDF chief of chaplains, said he is very grateful for the U.S. chaplains conducting solution-focused therapy counseling because the MDF is preparing to send their soldiers on deployments to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Ivory Coast to support peace keeping missions.


For the rest of this story visit http://www.usaraf.army.mil/NEWS/NEWS_130329_chp_mal.htmlImage

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U.S., African soldiers participate in MEDEVAC training

DOUALA, Cameroon – U.S. military members trained with counterparts from Cameroon and five other Central African countries on aerial resupply and medical readiness activities as part of Central Accord 2013.

The annual U.S. Army Africa exercise aims to enhance the African militaries’ self-sufficiency.

Hundreds of Cameroon military members, alongside U.S. and other Central Africa service members, are participating in the exercise to enhance the readiness of participating countries’ logistical and resupply capabilities as well as their ability to conduct aeromedical evacuations.

For more on this story visit http://www.usaraf.army.mil/NEWS/NEWS_130304_ca7.htmlImage

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Central Accord 13 concludes with final exercise, March 2013

Capt. Mary Avriette (center), U.S. Army 82nd Civil Affairs Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas, watches as a Cameroon firefighter and soldier practice providing emergency medical treatment on 1st Class John Mark, a Cameroon firefighter, during a training scenario Feb. 28 at Cameroon Air Force Base, Douala. The event is part of Central Accord 2013, a 10-day U.S. Army Africa exercise focusing on medical treatment and evacuation as well as aerial delivery. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Amy Wieser Willson, North Dakota Army National Guard)

By New Hampshire Army National Guard Public Affairs

DOUALA, Cameroon – The scream of the C-130 engines filled the air as it taxied, while next to it soldiers ducked beneath the churning blades of a Bell 206 helicopter to unload a simulated patient, simultaneously the crew of Puma Eurocopter readied the aircraft for flight.

This was the culmination of a 10-day training exercise that U.S., Cameroonian, Barunde, Gabonese Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, and São Tomé e Príncipe militaries participated in Feb. 27 through Mar. 1 as a part of Central Accord 2013.

Central Accord 13, a joint multi-national exercise in which U.S., Cameroon and neighboring Central African militaries partner to promote regional cooperation while increasing aerial resupply and medical treatment capacity, was sponsored by U.S. Army Africa and hosted by the Cameroonian Defense Force.

“We trained them in the basic skills, then we practiced it with them, and now they are exercising them with us just watching. So, it validates the training that we provided,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Peter Corey, deputy commander of U.S. Army Africa.

Throughout the exercise the U.S., Cameroon, and partner nation militaries trained together side-by-side. Some of the major focuses were parachute rigging, pathfinder operations, aerial resupply, casualty evacuation, field hospital operations, and first aid techniques.

One of the major aerial resupply achievements was the first ever parachute-borne supply delivery using a Cameroonian C-130 aircraft at the Regiment Du Genie Headquarters outside Douala Feb. 27.

“Now that we have these skills if there were a national disaster we could actually parachute those meals down to refugees and actually help them more then we could before,” said Cameroon Army Zubi Thomas Awonsang, a crew chief, who helped rig the parachutes and packages for the aerial deliveries.

In addition to gaining parachute resupply capability, they also gained the ability to free drop supplies without a parachute from their Puma and Bell helicopters. This quick delivery method was another great enhancement to their resupply abilities, said Col. Eyebe Diltier, a Puma pilot in command. “Practice is important. When you have practiced you will be able to do it in a live manner. During a crisis we will be able to do it,” said Diltier. “It makes us stronger.”

One of the points that Diltier made was that although they learned the U.S. way of doing aerial resupply and casualty evacuation, they will not necessarily adopt the exact same techniques. They practiced it the U.S. way, then determined what worked for them and adapted it to meet the Cameroonian needs.

This applied to the casualty evacuation and medical training as well.

“We are tailoring it (the exercise) to meet their needs as we build this partnership,” said Maj. Borisch, Central Accord 2013 officer in charge for members of the 256th Combat Support Hospital, U.S. Army Reserves. In light of that, members of the 256th showed the Cameroon and partner nations how they run a field hospital, while tailoring to an operations environment which would be more suitable to the African nations’ need to respond to natural disasters or regional security threats, he said.

Soldiers like São Tomé e Príncipe Maj. Aranaldo da Silva Afonso, a chief medical officer who came here looking to enhance capability to respond to natural disasters, like frequent flooding in their country, got exactly what he were looking for.

During the final exercise they put their diagnostic, treatment and evacuation skills to the test while treating simulated casualties complete with bandages and fake blood who acted out the symptoms the soldiers would have to treat. They set scenarios like bus crashes with casualties that had to be removed from the scene, put on a litter, then onto a helicopter and then evacuated to a field hospital. This was so the Cameroonian and partner nations could see the process of getting the patient from the scene of the accident to definitive care, as treating patients in route was a new concept, said Brosich.

“We are giving them more tools in their tool kit, so to speak, so that after we leave they will be better able to care for their injured and wounded service members or people suffering from a natural disaster,” said Corey.

The exercise gave the Cameroon and partner nation soldiers an opportunity to put their skills to the test. From moving a patient from an accident scene to a field hospital, or from rigging the parachutes to watching them fall to earth at a landing zone marked by pathfinders; every aspect of their knowledge was put to the test.

“We are very proud to be one of the first to do this,” said Diltier of the ability to aerial delivery. Awonsang echoed the sentiment of pride in his new abilities, and said that now he feels like he is a better soldier.

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CCP deployment exercise, August 2011

Nearly 30 Soldiers and Civilians of U.S. Army Africa (USARAF) packed up and moved the organization’s expeditionary command post to Aviano Air Base in northern Italy Aug. 8-12.

The ECP is a medium sized version of a newly configured mobile operations center used by the USARAF Contingency Command Post. The CCP provides USARAF Commander Maj. Gen. David R. Hogg with worldwide communications links for his organization’s forward command element wherever it is deployed, be it on the African continent or elsewhere.

Via Flickr:
Staff Sgt. Ebony Spann confirms a cable connection on a satellite dish during a deployment exercise of U.S. Army Africa’s Contingency Command Post Aug. 8-12. The successful completion of the exercise validated the ability for USARAF’s Contingency Command Post to deploy and use new, cutting-edge communications equipment. Spann was a member of a team that successfully linked to a Ka band satellite during the deployment exercise. USRAF’s CCP is the first U.S. military unit to establish a Ka band link in Europe.

Photo by Rich Bartell, U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs

To learn more about U.S. Army Africa visit our official website at www.usaraf.army.mil

Official Twitter Feed: www.twitter.com/usarmyafrica

Official Vimeo video channel: www.vimeo.com/usarmyafrica

Join the U.S. Army Africa conversation on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ArmyAfrica

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Strong Bonds retreat in Garmisch, Germany, January 2011

Enjoying an afternoon of snow and sun, laughing children and smiling adults scatter along the sledding slop, whizzing down the hill or watching others go by in Garmisch, Germany. This past weekend 22 U.S. Army Africa couples and their 42 children went to Edelweiss Lodge and Resort for a Strong Bonds marriage retreat.

“This weekend put our lives on pause so we could breathe each other in again,” said Amiia Coffey, whose husband recently returned from deployment. “It let us step away from our crazy lives to focus on each other and how different we are.”

“Army leaders feel it is very important for Soldiers to have a strong marital relations and that’s why they fund this program,” said Chaplain (Col.) Jonathan McGraw.

The next USARAF couples retreat will be April 15-17. Strong Bonds programs are offered through the unit’s corresponding Chaplain’s office, said McGraw.

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