U.S. Army, French Soldiers complete initial phase of French Desert Commando Course

U.S. Army Spc. Jarrod Allison assigned to Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard completes an obstacle on “Voie de L’Inconscient” or “Path of the Unconscious”, the final evolution of the initial phase of the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 23, 2018.  The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn) U.S. Army, French Soldiers complete initial phase of French Desert Commando Course U.S. Army Spc. Jarrod Allison assigned to Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard completes an obstacle on “Voie de L’Inconscient” or “Path of the Unconscious”, the final evolution of the initial phase of the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 23, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn)
U.S. Army Spc. Travis Flynn, assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, practices recovering onto a single rope bridge during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 21, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn) U.S. Army, French Soldiers complete initial phase of French Desert Commando Course U.S. Army Spc. Travis Flynn, assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, practices recovering onto a single rope bridge during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 21, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn)
U.S. Army Spc. Mikala Leal, assigned to Hotel Company, 949th Brigade Support Battalion, practices recovering onto a single rope bridge during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 21, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn) U.S. Army, French Soldiers complete initial phase of French Desert Commando Course U.S. Army Spc. Mikala Leal, assigned to Hotel Company, 949th Brigade Support Battalion, practices recovering onto a single rope bridge during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 21, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn)
U.S. Army Soldiers, deployed to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, navigate an obstacle course during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 22, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn) U.S. Army, French Soldiers complete initial phase of French Desert Commando Course U.S. Army Soldiers, deployed to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, navigate an obstacle course during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 22, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn)
U.S. Army Spc. Jarrod Allison assigned to Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard completes the final challenge of  “Voie de L’Inconscient” or “Path of the Unconscious”, the last evolution of the initial phase of the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 23, 2018.  The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn) U.S. Army, French Soldiers complete initial phase of French Desert Commando Course U.S. Army Spc. Jarrod Allison assigned to Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard completes the final challenge of “Voie de L’Inconscient” or “Path of the Unconscious”, the last evolution of the initial phase of the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 23, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn)
U.S. Army Soldiers alongside French soldiers, deployed to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, prepare to start desert land navigation during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 21, 2018.  The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn) U.S. Army, French Soldiers complete initial phase of French Desert Commando Course U.S. Army Soldiers alongside French soldiers, deployed to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, prepare to start desert land navigation during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 21, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn)
U.S. Army Pfc. Derek Gauss assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, lights a fire with a magnifying glass as part of a desert survival class during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 21, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn) U.S. Army, French Soldiers complete initial phase of French Desert Commando Course U.S. Army Pfc. Derek Gauss assigned to Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, lights a fire with a magnifying glass as part of a desert survival class during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 21, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn)
U.S. Army Spc. Aaron Lenox assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard assists his team in navigating an obstacle during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 22, 2018.  The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn) U.S. Army, French Soldiers complete initial phase of French Desert Commando Course U.S. Army Spc. Aaron Lenox assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 144th Infantry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard assists his team in navigating an obstacle during the French Desert Commando Course at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti in Arta Plage, Djibouti, April 22, 2018. The four-day phase is the first of two necessary to earn a coveted French Desert Commando Badge. (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Timothy M. Ahearn)

Nineteen U.S. Army Soldiers successfully completed the first phase of the French Desert Commando Course alongside French partners at the Centre Dentrainment Au Combat Djibouti (CECAD), in Arta Plage, Djibouti April 23, 2018.

1st Lt. Louis Gignet, French Combat Engineer Corps, one of seven French soldiers embedded with American classmates, was challenged both physically and mentally throughout the grueling 4-day initial phase of the course.

“We learned how to live in the desert, completed two team obstacle courses, one during the day and one at night, and an individual course designed to help you overcome fear of the empty space beneath you.” said Gignet.

Though challenging and fast paced, U.S. Army Spc. Mikala Leal, Hotel Company, 949th Brigade Support Battalion, was able to learn and relate to her French classmates.

“We were able to exchange ideas and thoughts, see how they move tactically compared to our own movement, and see how strong they are alongside of us.” said Leal.

During the survival part of the course the Soldiers were given instruction in subjects that were familiar to their traditional training such as land navigation, but some new tasks were presented to them as well.

“I built my first fire here. I have never built a fire before; it was awesome.” said Leal.

Though the initial phase lasted only four days, a resounding impact was left both on our Soldiers and their French classmates.

“It was a very good experience, I have appreciated these moments the last few days getting to share these experiences with American warriors.” said Gignet.

Tags

U.S. Army Djibouti U.S. AFRICOM Arta Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa Army French 404th Civil Affairs Battalion Fire Combat U.S. Army Africa partners Soldiers Soldiers Course Arta Plage French Desert Commando Course U.S. Army Reserve Texas Army National Guard 10th Mountain Division Desert

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