101st Airborne Division platoon provides secure training area for historic Somali National Army training

On May 24, 2017, nearly 60 Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers from a Danab battalion graduated from a U.S.-led logistics training course offered at Mogadishu, Somalia. This historic graduation, the first of three to be offered this year by U.S. Africa Command, was carried out by a small team of fewer than 20 total U.S. trainers and security personnel from the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky.



By Tech. Sgt. Joe Harwood CJTF-HOA PAO Djibouti May 30, 2017
View Gallery
fallback
Gallery contains 1 image

On May 24, 2017, nearly 60 Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers from a Danab battalion graduated from a U.S.-led logistics training course offered at Mogadishu, Somalia. This historic graduation, the first of three to be offered this year by U.S. Africa Command, was carried out by a small team of fewer than 20 total U.S. trainers and security personnel from the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky.

Particularly in an area where only six years ago Al-Shabaab was a dominant group, good security is necessary for any activity there. 

“We couldn’t have done it without our force protection team,” said Capt. Seth Church, who was the training team officer-in-charge. “They provided us a secure area to do the training.”

All of the security personnel were from the 101st Airborne Division, 1st Brigade, 1st Battalion, Delta Company, 3rd Platoon, which laid the groundwork for securing the six-week training course.

First Lt. Conner Anderson, force protection officer-in-charge, said that being a part of the 327th Infantry Regiment, “Bastogne” Brigade, has also given his team a valuable experience working with international partners.

“There’s always a language barrier that you have to overcome, but over time we developed an understanding between each other. The Danab were a respectable group; we didn’t have any problems.”

The platoon played a vital role in the overall success of the logistics course, ensuring the safety of all parties involved. Each day the soldiers started earlier and ended later to ensure a secure training environment.

Sgt. Geoff Copus, 3rd Platoon squad leader said, “We provide force protection measures for not only the trainers but also for the Danab personnel. We meet them at the gate every morning and escort them to the training site; we also convoy with them.”

“Our main focus is to keep them protected,” he emphasized. “On the training site we are protecting both the trainers and the Danab. At the end of the day we escort them off the installation.”

Copus added that he has enjoyed being a part of this mission, “I’m excited to be a part of this, it’s a historic mission.”

During the training, they inspected and secured the classrooms, the gate, and the vehicle storage areas. In addition to securing the training site, they also accompanied the SNA during vehicle-operation and convoy training outside of the training area. At the end of each day, they safely escorted the SNA off the installation.

At the May 24 graduation ceremony, the platoon secured the area for the attendance of distinguished visitors like the Prime Minister of Somalia, Hassan Ali Khayre, Somalia’s Chief of Defense, Gen. Ahmed Mohamed Jimcale, and the U.S. Ambassador to Somalia, Stephen Schwartz.

Although providing security for training courses is not part of the platoon’s day-to-day responsibilities at their home station, they rose to the challenge and learned some lessons in international relations.

“It’s been a challenge because it’s not what we normally do.” Anderson explained, “Back home, we’re a heavy weapons platoon for an infantry battalion. As the first group for this type of training course, we had to prepare ourselves for anything. We had to build trust both ways.”

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