CAMP LEMONNIER, Djibouti - U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) and French Marines assigned to the 5th Overseas Intermarines Regiment (RIAOM) participated in a combatives exchange training at Djibouti Air Base, Djibouti, Sep. 2 and Sep. 3, 2019.
The purpose of the joint training was to share French Marine and U.S. Army combative techniques and further the relationship between Task Force Warrior and the 5th RIAOM.
“I think both parties were satisfied of the exchanges. This kind of partnership enables us to open our mind to other methods of training,” said Maj. Mathieu Laurés, French liaison officer assigned to CJTF-HOA. “We are convinced that these kind of short and practical exchange has to be reiterated frequently to enhance our cooperation.”
According to Laures, the partnership with U.S. soldiers is one of the priorities of the French commanding General in Djibouti. Laures also believes that the exchanges between the allies fosters interoperability and increases the ability to efficiently conduct joint operations.
“This was a great experience, and I think both US and French forces really enjoyed this exchange. Not only was it great experience to learn how another military trains and fights, but it was great way to strengthen our relationship with our coalition partner,” said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Brian Caulfield security forces liason officer assigned to CJTF-HOA. “As we continue to work with, and fight alongside our coalition partners here and in other parts of the world, it is important for each military force to understand how the other operates in order to enhance our collective capabilities.”
During the training the U.S. service members were given different lessons on how French Marines clear rooms, and conduct close quarters combat. While the French Marines learned basic grappling and self-defense instruction, using a mix of wrestling and jiu-jitsu techniques.
This is not the first time that the CJTF-HOA soldiers have partnered with a coalition partner for training. In May, Task Force Warrior partnered with the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force for a tactical combat casualty care course. The course was part of a two-day subject matter expert medical exchange that focused on first-aid methodologies between the two partner nations in Djibouti. Later, in July, they partnered again with the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force for a combatives exchange, where the soldiers learned grappling techniques, karate and basic jukendo training.
According to Caulfield, both CJTF-HOA and French leadership were pleased with how the training event went. He also believed that it would be beneficial for both forces to continue doing exchanges in the future.