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Military intelligence course builds bonds between U.S. and African servicemembers

US Marine Corps News

By Sgt. Tatum Vayavananda | Marine Corps Forces Africa | October 31, 2012

DAKAR, Senegal -- The second iteration of the Military Intelligence Non-Commissioned Officer Course – Africa, that began Aug. 29, graduated 23 students from six African partner nations from the course on Oct. 17.

Military Intelligence Non-Commission Officer Course- Africa II enhances capacity for intelligence collection, analysis, information sharing among the participating nations, and provides an environment designed to promote collaboration methods within the region’s military intelligence community.

But intelligence capability is not the only thing that develops during MINOC-A.

“One of the goals is to build partnerships,” said Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Jason Raether, MINOC-A II class commandant, Regional Joint Training Facility, Molesworth, U.K.

“The African continent is built on relationships and it’s very important we continue to build that.”

The non-commissioned officers represent the nations of Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mauritania, Tunisia, and Senegal.

Additionally, Burkina Faso and Senegal are partners in ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States.

“This is the first time MINOC-A has been conducted on the continent,” added Raether.

The first course was held in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and graduated 25 NCOs from six partner nations: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and the United States.

The seven-week course is designed to provide NCOs with an introduction to U.S. military intelligence techniques and procedures.

“It’s a program that gives [these countries] the benefit [of working] in the international intelligence scene. Now we can see that [all these countries] can work together,” said Senegalese Sgt. El Hadji Doro Diange, an assistant MINOC-A II instructor that attended the first iteration of the course.

Students were introduced to topics such as: briefing fundamentals, creative and critical thinking, intelligence preparation of the operational environment, social network analysis, insurgency and counterinsurgency, and stability and peacekeeping operations. Leadership training is embedded throughout the course and reinforced with individual briefs and group exercises in the classroom.

“It helps them perfect their knowledge in the intelligence world. The program’s legacy will show through their ability to do intelligence when they go back,” said Diagne.

Other staff members include two senior instructor mentors from the Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility, two Canadian instructors, and three uniformed instructors from U.S. Africa Command.

“We come down and teach [intelligence] for the Africans so they can come up with their own solutions to their security concerns,” said Raether.

“We continue to build that capability and that’s the importance of a regional course; learning how to work together, learning how we both do things, and being cognizant between us and their African counterparts.

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