US Marines and Djiboutian GIGN Forces Exchange "Warrior Ethos"

CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Josh Guffey, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor trainer, Marines 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment Battalion Landing Team, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, briefs members of the Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale on combat fitness events for the day during MCMAP training at Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Guffey, a native of Viper, Kentucky, joined a training team of several other Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5) to participate with members of the GIGN in bilateral training involving infantry-specific skills, such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training at Djibouti's Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Josh Guffey, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor trainer, Marines 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment Battalion Landing Team, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, briefs members of the Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale on combat fitness events for the day during MCMAP training at Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Guffey, a native of Viper, Kentucky, joined a training team of several other Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5) to participate with members of the GIGN in bilateral training involving infantry-specific skills, such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training at Djibouti's Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - Members of Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale begin the run portion of their combat physical training at Djibouti's Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. The training lasted from November 13 to December 2. The GIGN is Djibouti's premier reactionary force, which conducts special weapons and tactic missions. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - Members of Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale begin the run portion of their combat physical training at Djibouti's Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. The training lasted from November 13 to December 2. The GIGN is Djibouti's premier reactionary force, which conducts special weapons and tactic missions. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Josh Guffey, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor trainer, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, runs with members of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale during combat fitness training at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Physical fitness is one of the tenants of MCMAP and was heavily stressed during the training, which lasted from November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Josh Guffey, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor trainer, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, runs with members of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale during combat fitness training at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Physical fitness is one of the tenants of MCMAP and was heavily stressed during the training, which lasted from November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) -  Corporal Chief Ali Hassan Angado, member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, views a target downrange during enhanced marksmanship training at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Angado, along with other GIGN members, participated in a bilateral training event with U.S.  Marines of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - Corporal Chief Ali Hassan Angado, member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, views a target downrange during enhanced marksmanship training at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Angado, along with other GIGN members, participated in a bilateral training event with U.S. Marines of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Sergeant Kapeielu Faiivae, (left) black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, Marines 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment Battalion Landing Team, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, spars with a member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (right) while U.S. Marine Sergeant Phillip Garza, MCMAP instructor, referees during MCMAP training at Djibouti's Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti November 19. Faiivae is a native of America Samoa, and Garza is a native of Tivoli, Texas. Both Marines are stationed on the USS Bataan (LHD 5), and participated in a bilateral training program with the members of the GIGN, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Sergeant Kapeielu Faiivae, (left) black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, Marines 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment Battalion Landing Team, based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, spars with a member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale (right) while U.S. Marine Sergeant Phillip Garza, MCMAP instructor, referees during MCMAP training at Djibouti's Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti November 19. Faiivae is a native of America Samoa, and Garza is a native of Tivoli, Texas. Both Marines are stationed on the USS Bataan (LHD 5), and participated in a bilateral training program with the members of the GIGN, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S.  Marines from Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, conduct combat fitness training with members of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 9. The GIGN exchanged their experiences with U.S. Marines from BLT, 2-2nd Marines during a bilateral training event covering infantry-specific skills such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marines from Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, conduct combat fitness training with members of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 9. The GIGN exchanged their experiences with U.S. Marines from BLT, 2-2nd Marines during a bilateral training event covering infantry-specific skills such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - Corporal Ali-Bachir Ladieh Billeh, member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, crawls through gravel while supporting a fellow service member during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program combat fitness exercise at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti,  November 19. Members of the GIGN participated in a bilateral training program with U.S. Marines of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, November 13 to December 2. The training involved infantry- specific skills such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training to enhance their capabilities as Djibouti's special weapons and tactics team. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - Corporal Ali-Bachir Ladieh Billeh, member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, crawls through gravel while supporting a fellow service member during a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program combat fitness exercise at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Members of the GIGN participated in a bilateral training program with U.S. Marines of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, November 13 to December 2. The training involved infantry- specific skills such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training to enhance their capabilities as Djibouti's special weapons and tactics team. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S.  Marine Sergeant Kapeielu Faiivae, (left) black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, demonstrates the proper technique for crawling with an individual holding him down to members of the Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program combat fitness exercises during MCMAP training at Djibouti's Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Faiivae, a native of America Samoa, along with other U.S. Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5), participated in a bilateral training program with the GIGN, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Sergeant Kapeielu Faiivae, (left) black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, demonstrates the proper technique for crawling with an individual holding him down to members of the Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program combat fitness exercises during MCMAP training at Djibouti's Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Faiivae, a native of America Samoa, along with other U.S. Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5), participated in a bilateral training program with the GIGN, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - Corporal Chief Ali Ayeh Mohamoud, member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, attempts to take down Corporal Abdoul Malik Aden Kahn, also a member of the GIGN, during Marine Corps Martial Arts Training with U.S. Marines of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. The GIGN is Djibouti's special weapons and tactics force and participated with U.S. Marines of BLT, 2-2nd Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5) in a bilateral training program involving infantry-specific skills such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - Corporal Chief Ali Ayeh Mohamoud, member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, attempts to take down Corporal Abdoul Malik Aden Kahn, also a member of the GIGN, during Marine Corps Martial Arts Training with U.S. Marines of Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. The GIGN is Djibouti's special weapons and tactics force and participated with U.S. Marines of BLT, 2-2nd Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5) in a bilateral training program involving infantry-specific skills such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S.  Marine Sergeant Leodolfo Monarrez, black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, watches members of the Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale as they conduct combat fitness exercises during MCMAP training at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Monarrez, a native of Tucson, Arizona, joined a training team of several other BLT, 2-2 Marines from the USS Bataan to participate with members of the GIGN in a bilateral training program, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Sergeant Leodolfo Monarrez, black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, watches members of the Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale as they conduct combat fitness exercises during MCMAP training at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Monarrez, a native of Tucson, Arizona, joined a training team of several other BLT, 2-2 Marines from the USS Bataan to participate with members of the GIGN in a bilateral training program, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Josh Guffey, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor trainer, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, watches as Corporal Abdoul Malik Aden Kahn, member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale conducts combat fitness training exercises during MCMAP training at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Guffey, a native of Viper, Kentucky, said the training, which lasted from November 13 to December 2, allowed him and his team the opportunity to learn more about the cultural traditions of the Djiboutian people. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Josh Guffey, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor trainer, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, watches as Corporal Abdoul Malik Aden Kahn, member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale conducts combat fitness training exercises during MCMAP training at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Guffey, a native of Viper, Kentucky, said the training, which lasted from November 13 to December 2, allowed him and his team the opportunity to learn more about the cultural traditions of the Djiboutian people. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Sergeants Leodolfo Monarrez (left) and Benjamin Guillot, black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructors, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, watch as members of the Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale conduct MCMAP techniques at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Monarrez, a native of Tucson, Arizona, and Guillot, a native of Orlando, Florida, were part of a training team of several other BLT, 2-2nd Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5) selected to participate with members of the GIGN in a bilateral training program, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Sergeants Leodolfo Monarrez (left) and Benjamin Guillot, black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructors, Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, watch as members of the Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale conduct MCMAP techniques at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Monarrez, a native of Tucson, Arizona, and Guillot, a native of Orlando, Florida, were part of a training team of several other BLT, 2-2nd Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5) selected to participate with members of the GIGN in a bilateral training program, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti, (Nov.  19, 2011) - U.S.  Marine Sergeant Kapeielu Faiivae, black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, demonstrates proper techniques to Corporal Chief Ali Ayeh Mohamoud, a member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program combat fitness exercises at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti November 19. Faiivae, a native of America Samoa, along with other U.S. Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5), participated in a bilateral training program with the GIGN, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti, (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Sergeant Kapeielu Faiivae, black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, demonstrates proper techniques to Corporal Chief Ali Ayeh Mohamoud, a member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program combat fitness exercises at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti November 19. Faiivae, a native of America Samoa, along with other U.S. Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5), participated in a bilateral training program with the GIGN, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S.  Marine Sergeant Aaron Reed, brown belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, demonstrates MCMAP techniques to Corporal Nasser Salah Ahmed and Corporal Chief Ali Hassan Angado, members of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program combat fitness exercises at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti November 19. Reed, a native of Dolphin, Virginia, along with several U.S. Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5), recently participated in a bilateral training program with the GIGN. The training included infantry-specific skills such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Sergeant Aaron Reed, brown belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, demonstrates MCMAP techniques to Corporal Nasser Salah Ahmed and Corporal Chief Ali Hassan Angado, members of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale during Marine Corps Martial Arts Program combat fitness exercises at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti November 19. Reed, a native of Dolphin, Virginia, along with several U.S. Marines from the USS Bataan (LHD 5), recently participated in a bilateral training program with the GIGN. The training included infantry-specific skills such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training, November 13 to December 2. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S.  Marine Gunnery Sergeant Josh Guffey, standing, and U.S. Marine Sergeant Phillip Garza, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor trainers, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, demonstrates and briefs members of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale on MCMAP techniques during MCMAP drills at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. The training, which lasted from November 13 to December 2, focused on integrating GIGN tactics with MCMAP techniques. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Josh Guffey, standing, and U.S. Marine Sergeant Phillip Garza, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor trainers, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, demonstrates and briefs members of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale on MCMAP techniques during MCMAP drills at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. The training, which lasted from November 13 to December 2, focused on integrating GIGN tactics with MCMAP techniques. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)
CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - Corporal Ajamel Diama Djibril, a member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, fights an opponent with pugil sticks as U.S. Marine Sergeant Phillip Garza, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instruct trainer, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, referees during MCMAP training at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Garza, a native of Tivoli, Texas, was part of a training team of several other BLT 2-2nd Marines from the USS Bataan selected to participate with members of the GIGN in a bilateral training program involving infantry- specific skills such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri) CJTF-HOA Photo CHEIK MOUSSA, Djibouti (Nov. 19, 2011) - Corporal Ajamel Diama Djibril, a member of Djibouti's Group d' Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, fights an opponent with pugil sticks as U.S. Marine Sergeant Phillip Garza, Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instruct trainer, Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, referees during MCMAP training at the Centre d'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 19. Garza, a native of Tivoli, Texas, was part of a training team of several other BLT 2-2nd Marines from the USS Bataan selected to participate with members of the GIGN in a bilateral training program involving infantry- specific skills such as close combat tactics and techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle training. (DOD photo by Supunnee Ulibarri)

For a small contingent of U.S. Marines assigned to the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Bataan (LHD 5), a respite from the metal confines of the ship allowed for an exchange of warrior skills and tactics with members of Djibouti's premier reactionary force, the Groupe d'Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, at Cheik Moussa, Djibouti, November 13 to December 2.

The exchange designated U.S. Marines from the Battalion Landing Team, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, to conduct infantry-specific exercises in close-combat techniques, enhanced marksmanship and vehicle operation.

"Our intent was to come out here and get the GIGN proficient on the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program," said U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Josh Guffey, lead MCMAP instructor trainer during the mission.

Guffey and his fellow team members were selected to conduct the bilateral event based on their infantry tactical expertise from multiple deployments in combat areas around the globe.

The team set up base camp at the Centre D'Instruction Ministere de la Defense, an initial military training facility on the outskirts of Djibouti City, and quickly built a strong rapport with the members of the GIGN, Guffey said.

"We collaboratively established a training program with the GIGN based on their mission," said U.S. Marine 1st Lieutenant Jason Oldenkamp, officer-in-charge of the event. "The GIGN is essentially Djibouti's special weapons and tactics force so they must be ready for any situation or mission that comes their way. As Marines we remain in a constant state of readiness, so we wanted to share this with them, which they readily took in."

In addition to the training practices shared, this mission also offered Marines and GIGN forces an opportunity to learn more about one another, on a cultural level.

"The exercises we conducted were also a great opportunity for us to exchange mutual cultural understanding, along with our tactics and techniques," Oldenkamp said.

During the three-week event, the members of the GIGN and Marines experienced the various levels of MCMAP, to include certifying several GIGN non-commissioned officers as MCMAP instructor-trainers and assisting the GIGN in developing their marksmanship proficiency.

"I've trained with a number of foreign forces in previous deployments," said U.S. Marine Sergeant Kapeielu Faiivae, black belt MCMAP instructor. "We show them how we do things as Marines, but we also gain a lot of perspective from them too. This was a great chance for us to learn how they operate as a unit and we also learned about their culture and history."

Faiivae said the opportunity to train with foreign forces is rewarding because the experience exchanged is a benefit all around.

"We're sharing more than just the techniques required to be effective in a combat situation," Guffey said, referring to the physical, mental and character disciplines encompassing MCMAP.

He said a key priority for him was to convey to the GIGN the "Marine warrior concept."

"The (MCMAP) program trains Marines in unarmed combat, and also stresses mental and character development, which includes the responsible use of force, leadership and teamwork," he said.

Guffey set aside training time to exchange "warrior mentality" between the GIGN and the Marine trainers.

"We did some good, hard physical training with the GIGN, but always followed it with a discussion on the mental aspect of engaging in combat," he said.

The discussions included learning about martial cultures such as the Spartans, Zulus and Apaches. By studying these cultures, Marines learn fundamental tactics and methods of the past and reconnect themselves with the warrior ethos of the Marine Corps.

Guffey said this is where the GIGN and his team reaped the highest reward.

"I love training Marines, and the opportunity to work with other forces such as the GIGN is always a win because we have the opportunity to exchange each other's experiences and perspective," he said.

These exercises were not the first time the Marines had worked with the GIGN.

"This is the third iteration of U.S. Marines working with the GIGN at Cheik Moussa," said Lieutenant Ilias Aden, commander of the GIGN. "The training—with these Marines—is by far some of the toughest, most relevant training my men have received to date since the U.S. Marine Corps began conducting bilateral training with our forces. We'll continue and incorporate the experience we gained from them in the future."

The Marines left the GIGN with training and proficiency they will continue to use, but they also gained new camaraderie with the GIGN.

"We learned just as much from the GIGN as they learned from us," said Oldenkamp. "They stayed motivated and exceeded expectations at every step of the way during our three weeks here. We definitely leave here humbled by their hospitality—they treated us with the utmost professionalism and also as brothers-in-arms. We leave here with a great sense of camaraderie."

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