U.S., Rwandan engineers enhance expeditionary camp planning skills

Rwandan Defense Force Col. Faustin Kalisa, Engineering Brigade commander, gives opening remarks for military-to-military sharing of best practices at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 15, 2015. Engineers from Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa exchanged information with RDF engineers about how to plan expeditionary base camps from the ground up. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image Rwandan Defense Force Col. Faustin Kalisa, Engineering Brigade commander, gives opening remarks for military-to-military sharing of best practices at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 15, 2015. Engineers from Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa exchanged information with RDF engineers about how to plan expeditionary base camps from the ground up. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed)
U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Bevin Keen, Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa engineer, speaks with Rwandan Defense Force Lt. Col. John Gahizi, RDF Engineer, during a tea break at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 15, 2015. Engineers from CJTF-HOA and RDF exchanged best practices for planning, building, maintaining and breaking down expeditionary base camps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Bevin Keen, Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa engineer, speaks with Rwandan Defense Force Lt. Col. John Gahizi, RDF Engineer, during a tea break at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 15, 2015. Engineers from CJTF-HOA and RDF exchanged best practices for planning, building, maintaining and breaking down expeditionary base camps. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed)
Engineers from Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa answer questions from Rwandan Defense Force engineers during an exchange of best practices at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 15, 2015. CJTF-HOA members explained U.S. military base camp planning processes to compare and contrast with those used by the RDF. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image Engineers from Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa answer questions from Rwandan Defense Force engineers during an exchange of best practices at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 15, 2015. CJTF-HOA members explained U.S. military base camp planning processes to compare and contrast with those used by the RDF. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed)
U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Butler Kendrick, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa senior enlisted leader, shares a laugh with Rwandan Defense Force Air Force Maj. Jean Paul Munana, Combat Battalion squadron commander, at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 15, 2015. CJTF-HOA members socialized with RDF members during a tea break from base camp planning instruction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Butler Kendrick, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa senior enlisted leader, shares a laugh with Rwandan Defense Force Air Force Maj. Jean Paul Munana, Combat Battalion squadron commander, at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 15, 2015. CJTF-HOA members socialized with RDF members during a tea break from base camp planning instruction. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed)
U.S. Navy Lt. Steven Hunt, Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa engineer, illustrates soil stabilization techniques during a military-to-military engagement with the Rwandan Defense Force at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 15, 2015. Engineers from both forces exchanged ideas on the optimal ways to plan expeditionary camps considering local terrain features. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image U.S. Navy Lt. Steven Hunt, Combined Joint Task Force–Horn of Africa engineer, illustrates soil stabilization techniques during a military-to-military engagement with the Rwandan Defense Force at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 15, 2015. Engineers from both forces exchanged ideas on the optimal ways to plan expeditionary camps considering local terrain features. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed)
Members of the Rwandan Defense Force ask questions during a military-to-military engagement at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 17, 2015. RDF engineers from different specialties gathered to share their common practices of planning expeditionary camps with engineers from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image Members of the Rwandan Defense Force ask questions during a military-to-military engagement at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 17, 2015. RDF engineers from different specialties gathered to share their common practices of planning expeditionary camps with engineers from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed)
Engineers from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and the Rwandan Defense Force exchange ideas on expeditionary camp planning at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 17, 2015. Both sides discussed approaches to support different types of operational units and missions in expeditionary environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed) Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Image Engineers from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa and the Rwandan Defense Force exchange ideas on expeditionary camp planning at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Rwanda, Dec. 17, 2015. Both sides discussed approaches to support different types of operational units and missions in expeditionary environments. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed)

A team of engineers from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa met with Rwandan Defense Force engineering officers to share best practices on expeditionary camp planning at the RDF Engineering Brigade Headquarters near Kigali, Dec. 15-17, 2015.

“RDF members are taught basic engineering skills at civilian schools,” said U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Bevin Keen, CJTF-HOA logistics deputy engineer. “They need guidance to apply those skill in a military setting.”

The interactive discussion covered expeditionary camp planning from start to finish to include: site surveying and selection, security, strategic placement of required facilities, maintenance, and closure of the camp.

“If we lack in expeditionary capabilities, operations will be compromised,” said Rwandan Defense Force Col. Faustin Kalisa, Engineering Brigade commander. “Military engineering relies on the equipment, skills and the will to perform.  We want to improve our skills.”

The three-day exchange not only helped the RDF hone their skills, but engineers from CJTF-HOA learned in the process, as well.

“They reuse the majority of [construction] materials,” said Keen. “The way they reutilize those materials would be something useful for us to learn.”

The sharing of information between partners bolsters each organization’s mission, benefitting the entire region.

“The RDF is a troop contributor to both the East African Standby Force and U.N. peacekeeping missions in Africa,” said Keen. “Having the ability to build a base camp enables them to complete peacekeeping and disaster relief missions.”

In addition to increasing knowledge and ability of both forces, this engagement reinforced the partners’ ties.

“We have forged professional relationships with the RDF engineers that will be instrumental for future engagements,” said Keen. “They are an important partner nation to invest in. They have the will and desire; with the proper skill sets their increased capabilities will make them a more prominent force in East African stability.”

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CJTF-HOA Africa Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa military Horn of Africa HOA CJTF

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