U.S. Marines prepare Burundi Soldiers for Somalia, CAR

Two Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldiers make their way to training provided by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. Burundi National Defense Force Soldiers Head to Training Two Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldiers make their way to training provided by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. The SP-MAGTF AF has been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Ibrahim Bosch talks to a Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier before he clears a building during a training exercise in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Talks to Burundi National Defense Force Soldier U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Ibrahim Bosch talks to a Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier before he clears a building during a training exercise in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. Bosch and the rest of the SP-MAGTF AF have been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Ibrahim Bosch gives feedback to a Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier and his interpreter during a building clearing exercise in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Gives Feedback During Building Clearing Exercise U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Ibrahim Bosch gives feedback to a Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier and his interpreter during a building clearing exercise in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. Bosch and the rest of the SP-MAGTF AF have been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.
A Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier takes a break after a training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. Burundi National Defense Force Soldier Takes Break After Training A Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier takes a break after a training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. The SP-MAGTF AF has been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.
A Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier clears a building during a training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. Burundi National Defense Force Soldier Clears Building During Exercise A Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier clears a building during a training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. The SP-MAGTF AF has been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.
A Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier provides security during a building clearing training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. Burundi National Defense Force Soldier Provides Security During Building Clearing Exercise A Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier provides security during a building clearing training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. The SP-MAGTF AF has been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.
Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldiers clear a building during a training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. Burundi National Defense Soldiers Clear Building Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldiers clear a building during a training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. The SP-MAGTF AF has been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.
As a safety precaution, the white rage in the chamber of a Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier’s weapon shows there is no round in the chamber during a training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. No Rounds Held In Chamber During Training Exercise As a safety precaution, the white rage in the chamber of a Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier’s weapon shows there is no round in the chamber during a training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. The SP-MAGTF AF has been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.
Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldiers do some physical training to end a training day that was coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. Burundi National Defense Force Soldiers PT To End Training Day Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldiers do some physical training to end a training day that was coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. The SP-MAGTF AF has been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ricardo Montoya gives feedback to Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldiers during a building clearing exercise in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Gives Feedback to Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Ricardo Montoya gives feedback to Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldiers during a building clearing exercise in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. Montoya and the rest of the SP-MAGTF AF have been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.
A Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier clears a building during a training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. Burundi National Defense Force Soldier Clears Building During Training Exercise A Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldier clears a building during a training exercise coordinated by the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) in Bujumbura, Burundi, March 19, 2014. The SP-MAGTF AF has been working with the BNDF during a 10-week logistics training course to prepare BNDF soldiers for deployments to Somalia and the Central African Republic. The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia and the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic.

U.S. Marines from the Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa (SP-MAGTF AF) have been training Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) soldiers in preparation for deployments to Somalia.

The deployments are in support of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM), a regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations. Burundi is the second largest Troop Contributing Country (TCC), with six battalions deployed to Somalia at any given time.

Burundi also airlifted a seventh battalion into the Central African Republic in December 2013, as part of the peace-keeping mission for the African-led International Support Mission in the Central African Republic (MISCA.)

“The idea is that we conduct this training to prepare them for AMISOM missions or to deploy to the Central African Republic,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Justin Dentel, SP-MAGTF AF Burundi team leader.

The 10-week course is designed to cover a broad spectrum of logistics training, to include troop movements, breaching and clearing buildings, engineering, countering improvised explosive devices, convoy operations, communication skills and self-aid buddy care.

Dentel said many of the BNDF soldiers have been deployed to Somalia before so this is an opportunity for them to refine and improve their skills.

A lot of the tactics being taught are similar to the ones used in Iraq and Afghanistan, because it’s not a conventional war platform, but rather guerilla warfare in urban environments, he explained.

The BNDF soldiers have been eager and appreciative of the training provided by the Marines. “They want to learn, they’re excited to meet us and be with us,” Dentel said.

“I was motivated about this training because I knew I was going to get something different in comparison to what I’ve gotten before,” the BNDF company commander said.

The company commander, who has deployed to Somalia before, believes this training will help tremendously when he deploys again.

“First time when we were in Somalia there were many errors that we were doing. Now, I’m pretty sure I’m going to fix them accordingly,” the BNDF company commander said. “We got many techniques that we’re going to apply, like when we sweep a road that’s expected to have mines or IEDs.”

He has been very pleased with the cooperation between the U.S. and Burundi and hopes the training continues. He said the U.S. has been a great asset in supporting Burundi’s missions for AMISOM and MISCA.

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