Soldiers bolster Djiboutian English language skills

More than 10 members of the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion, Delta Company, joined local students for an English language discussion group at the Diplomatic Institute in Djibouti, Jan. 12, 2015.



By U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Victoria Sneed Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Djibouti Jan 16, 2016
View Gallery
fallback
Gallery contains 4 images

More than 10 members of the 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion, Delta Company, joined local students for an English language discussion group at the Diplomatic Institute in Djibouti, Jan. 12, 2015.

The U.S. military members participated in the intermediate and advanced courses, helping students practice their new language skills with native speakers.

“[Civil affairs] liaise between the U.S. military and government officials, people of influence, local leaders, religious, civil and military,” said U.S. Army Capt. Tommy Stephens, 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion team chief. “The majority of these students are working toward positions in government and business.”

By increasing the skills of the local populace, civil affairs helps create an environment that enables continued economic growth and sustained broad-based development.

“We aren’t here to force our solutions onto our African partners,” said Stephens. “We try to help them sustain themselves.”

The class is a networking opportunity for both sides of the conversation in both a professional and personal capacity.

“When [U.S. military members] come here, they become friends with us,” said Fatouma Djamh, Diplomatic Institute English language student. “It is interesting to know what their life is like, how they live in Djibouti and what they do in our country.”

In addition to making acquaintances, military members gain a sense of accomplishment for helping out the local populace.

“A lot of the people who come here want to use English to improve their lives,” said U.S. Army Maj. William Jones, 403rd Civil Affairs Battalion chief. “It gives me fulfillment being a part to make their lives better.”

The knowledge gained in these exchanges can expand beyond the bounds of the classroom and impact others in the community.

“I have children, and I want to teach them to speak English,” said Djamh. “I want for my children to go to university abroad. If they don’t speak English, it may be hard for them.”

Helping Djiboutians learn English enables them to increase their knowledge, potentially elevating their position in the community.

“A lot of them want to learn English because they believe it will make their lives better,” said Jones. “It may give them economic opportunities they never had before.”

The course isn’t purely about education; it is a chance for military members and Djiboutian locals to learn about each other on a personal level by sharing similarities and differences.

“It was fun to talk with them about our lives,” said Stephens. “They want to know more about us and what we do, where we’re from or what kind of pets we have. They are so interested in us, and I’m fascinated with them.”

More in Media Room
Airfield Operations Battalion transfers authority in East Africa
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 107th Aviation Regiment, Airfield Operations Battalion (AOB), transferred authority of the air operations here to the 1st Battalion, 58th AOB June 15, 2022. The AOB provides air traffic control and airfield management functions at airfields throughout East Africa in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, commander of the CJTF-HOA, presided over the ceremony.
Read more
712th Engineer Support Company transfer authority in Horn of Africa
The 712th Engineer Support Company (ESC), from South Carolina, transferred responsibility of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) engineering mission to the 319th Engineer Support Company, from Texas, during a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, June 14, 2022. The engineering company works on a variety of construction projects with partner nations throughout CJTF-HOA’s area of interest.
Read more
Task Force Red Dragon hosts D-Day remembrance ceremony in the Horn of Africa
U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to Task Force Red Dragon, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), hosted a D-Day commemoration ceremony and ruck march June 6, 2022, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, to remember the sacrifices of Allied forces during the storming of the Normandy beachhead during World War II.
Read more
More in Media Room
Airfield Operations Battalion transfers authority in East Africa
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 107th Aviation Regiment, Airfield Operations Battalion (AOB), transferred authority of the air operations here to the 1st Battalion, 58th AOB June 15, 2022. The AOB provides air traffic control and airfield management functions at airfields throughout East Africa in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, commander of the CJTF-HOA, presided over the ceremony.
Read more
712th Engineer Support Company transfer authority in Horn of Africa
The 712th Engineer Support Company (ESC), from South Carolina, transferred responsibility of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) engineering mission to the 319th Engineer Support Company, from Texas, during a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, June 14, 2022. The engineering company works on a variety of construction projects with partner nations throughout CJTF-HOA’s area of interest.
Read more
Task Force Red Dragon hosts D-Day remembrance ceremony in the Horn of Africa
U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to Task Force Red Dragon, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), hosted a D-Day commemoration ceremony and ruck march June 6, 2022, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, to remember the sacrifices of Allied forces during the storming of the Normandy beachhead during World War II.
Read more
More in Media Room
Airfield Operations Battalion transfers authority in East Africa
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 107th Aviation Regiment, Airfield Operations Battalion (AOB), transferred authority of the air operations here to the 1st Battalion, 58th AOB June 15, 2022. The AOB provides air traffic control and airfield management functions at airfields throughout East Africa in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA). U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jami Shawley, commander of the CJTF-HOA, presided over the ceremony.
Read more
712th Engineer Support Company transfer authority in Horn of Africa
The 712th Engineer Support Company (ESC), from South Carolina, transferred responsibility of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) engineering mission to the 319th Engineer Support Company, from Texas, during a ceremony at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, June 14, 2022. The engineering company works on a variety of construction projects with partner nations throughout CJTF-HOA’s area of interest.
Read more
Task Force Red Dragon hosts D-Day remembrance ceremony in the Horn of Africa
U.S. Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to Task Force Red Dragon, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), hosted a D-Day commemoration ceremony and ruck march June 6, 2022, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, to remember the sacrifices of Allied forces during the storming of the Normandy beachhead during World War II.
Read more