Special Reports

UK Elite Reservist Force Trains Uganda Army

check malady http://cortrium.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-posts-list-table.php geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Well camouflaged and out of sight, viagra 40mg http://contactburlco.org/wp-includes/comment.php the Ugandan soldiers train their AK47s over a dusty track beneath them, visit this as they wait to ambush approaching insurgents.

Nearby their colleagues set up a vehicle check point and speak to village elders. Back at their base another battalion takes control of the Forward Operating Base and looks after a refugee camp.

This exercise is the culmination of two weeks’ training in a Short Term Training Team role for the 4 Mercian troops. And, it’s the second time the battalion has undertaken training the UPDF, building upon its recent operational experience in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cyprus.

Lt Col Chris Carter, Commanding Officer of 4 MERCIAN, said: “The team from 4 MERCIAN has continued to build on the rapport established with the UPDF last year, and we are seeing a real increase in the capability of our Ugandan partners. The opportunity to work with their Ugandan colleagues is a great experience for the 4 MERCIAN team – both militarily and personally.”

Respected

On this occasion a total of 28 Reservists have deployed on this mission, training 1800 Ugandan troops. The training has consisted of traditional tactics such as how to attack an enemy position but also peace keeping procedures of interacting with the local population.

Training has been for privates and commanders in the rifle companies and the headquarters staff who command them on operations.

The UPDF is involved in several African Union and UN missions across Africa and the troops are widely respected for their capability.

Over the past three months they have received training from American, French and Dutch troops before the British deliver the final fortnight of training which culminates with a two-day field exercise after which they are deployable on UN and African Union peacekeeping missions.

Last year a strong rapport developed between the UPDF and 4 MERCIAN leading to this second deployment.

Corporal Amanda Bebbington, a full-time mother of two from E Rifles Company in Shrewsbury, said: “I’ve been teaching battlefield first aid. The doctor with us who has been here before was told by one of the soldiers that the lesson he had given previously on tourniquets saved his life when on operations last year. That makes what we do seem incredibly worthwhile.”

The Army Reservists range in rank from Lance Corporal up to Lieutenant Colonel and are predominantly from 4 MERCIAN who are based across the West Midlands. In the last three years they have deployed soldiers to Afghanistan, Iraq and Cyprus, mobilised for the 2012 Olympics and been on exercise to Denmark, USA, Cyprus, Italy, Northern Ireland as well as Uganda.

4 MERCIAN are increasing recruiting across several locations such as Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Nottingham as part of the overall recruiting drive for the Army Reserve.

Major Tim Carpenter-Balmer of Headquarters Company, Wolverhampton, said: “For the last 10 days while the soldiers have been trained in low level tactics I have been part of a Staff team training the Brigade and Battalion headquarters.

Some of the officers that I have been mentoring have been to 3 different combat zones in recent years so operationally are more experienced than I am but I have been able to develop their methodology so that are able to control more complex operations and be more effective.”

Template for the future

As part of the exercise the soldiers who were staying in the field overnight needed to be fed where they were operating which the Ugandans had never done before and led to a large iron cauldron of maize being man-handled on the back of a truck and taken as part of a protected convoy. A new experience for both the Ugandan and British troops.

Corporal Matty Matthews of A Fusilier Company in Birmingham, a Network Gas Engineer who also regularly raises money for Help for Heroes, is a natural training others, be they recruits from Birmingham or Ugandan soldiers with operational experience.

“I have learnt a lot over the years and I really enjoy passing on my military skills and knowledge. My ambition is to keep doing what I am doing.”

The Training Team role that 4 MERCIAN are undertaking is seen a template for the future.

It is forging links with the Ugandan People’s Defence Force who are involved in several UN and African Union missions throughout Africa and helping prevent conflicts from escalating and directly involving British troops and 4 MERCIAN and the rest of the Army Reserve are at the forefront.

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