IN THE NEWS
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Richard Keaton, U.S. Army Regionally Aligned Forces instructor, tests a soldier from the Djiboutian Armed Forces, known as FAD, on identifying a mock roadside bomb during a road block test, May 16, at Camp Cheik Osman, Djibouti. RAF instructors spent approximately five months with FAD soldiers training on various combat skills from medical care, rifle marksmanship, improvised explosive device recognition, convoy procedures and more. (U.S. Army Africa photo by Staff Sgt. Tiffany DeNault)
By Staff Sgt Tiffany DeNault for U.S. Army Africa Public Affairs
CAMP CHEIK OSMAN, Djibouti - Senegalese and U.S. planners met here May 18-20 to finalize preparations for July’s African Readiness Training 2016 exercise.
ART 2016 brings U.S. Army Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and the Senegalese Army’s Paratrooper Battalion to conduct three weeks of combined live-fire and maneuver training.
“This is unlike any other U.S. Army exercise in Africa,” said U.S. Army Africa exercise planner Maj. Scott Taliaferro. “Instead of simulated or scenario training, we’re actually conducting combined-arms maneuver live fires with our partners. This exercise develop the unit’s leaders and expose them to a totally different training environment.”
This is the second iteration of the training. Last year’s exercise occurred in Spain, and next year’s training is set for Uganda.
Approximately 180 Soldiers from the 2nd Brigade’s Fort Stewart, Georgia-based 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment will take part in the event along with the Senegalese Paras.
During the planning event, U.S. Soldiers confirmed training plans and walked the training area, noting options available at the ranges at Tactical Training Center 7 in Thies, where the exercise will take place.
“The mortar ranges here will allow realistic training in terms of integrating indirect fire with our maneuver forces,” said Capt. Kyle Kunkel, a planner for the exercise from 1st Bn., 30th Inf. Regt. “We can’t replicate this at home station.”
U.S. Soldiers are also looking forward to training closely with their Senegalese partners.
“It’s good for our Soldiers to see a different part of the world and gain an understanding of how our Senegalese counterparts train,” said Kunkel.