RAF Soldiers advise at ZAMBATT V
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Evan Parker
LUSAKA, Zambia – U.S. Army Africa has wrapped up another year of supporting pre-deployment training for Zambian soldiers preparing to spend a year as part of the U.N. mission in the Central African Republic. ZAMBATT V, the fifth iteration of troops from the country of Zambia to go in support of the United Nation’s Multidimensional Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), spent more than six weeks working with U.S., U.K., and French partners training and preparing for their mission to CAR.
“The benefit of working with partner nations are numerous; these have been force multipliers for our training.” said Lt. Col. Webster Chakufyali, the deputy commandant in charge of pre-deployment training. “The knowledge acquired has been immense and our troops have learned a lot from them on behalf of command.”
In April of 2014, the U.N. Security Council authorized the mobilization and deployment of multinational troops to the CAR in order to help stabilize the region, with the protection of civilians as its utmost priority through facilitating humanitarian assistance, promotion and protection of human rights. As of January 2019, the number of troops representing the U.N. has reached more than 13,000 uniformed personnel, with Zambia contributing more than 900 troops. The Zambian soldiers who are a part of ZAMBATT V are the anticipated relief for the ZAMBATT IV battalion currently on the ground in CAR.
“By us supporting and training them (Zambian forces) to deploy forces, it enables African countries to render and provide assistance to their neighbors,” said U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Erick A. Jordan, the senior defense official and defense attaché to Zambia, assigned to the U.S. Embassy Lusaka.
“This allows us to focus our limited resources elsewhere on the continent."
The U.S. Army has been supporting ZAMBATT pre-deployment training since 2018. Starting last year, the regionally aligned forces here on behalf of U.S. Army Africa have shifted from a contractor-led train and equip mission, to a more observe and advise role through the exercise. U.S. Soldiers who have been working with Zambian troops say their role is to help fill gaps and streamline processes and communication that the Zambian force will encounter while on their mission in CAR.
“The gentlemen and ladies here have been extremely open to receiving sound advice. It was my job, along with my (Zambian) counterpart, to streamline a lot of procedures they already had as SOP, to refine them and help make it faster and easier for the command to communicate the with (soldiers in) the field,” said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Courtney Glover, the 101st Airborne Division, 2nd Brigade, electronics spectrum manager with U.S. Army Africa’s regionally aligned force.
The U.S. is currently working with 21 other African partners in joint efforts to continue support and enforcement the U.N.’s regional peacekeeping and stabilization strategy, through multidimensional training and seamless integration of U.S. troops and its partners.