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MCAT 104 Supports Exercise Natural Fire

Navy NewsStand

Story Number: NNS091017-09
Release Date: 10/17/2009 9:30:00 PM

By Lt. Matt Gill, Maritime Civil Affairs and Security Training Public Affairs

ENTEBBE, Uganda (NNS) -- Five Sailors will make an enormous difference in the lives of Ugandan civilians as Maritime Civil Affairs Team (MCAT) 104 supports the upcoming U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) and U.S. Army Africa exercise Natural Fire (NF) '10 Oct. 16-25.

MCAT 104 is in the Horn of Africa in order to support Operation Enduring Freedom missions of the Combined Joint Task Force.

"Our role is to support the commander through an understanding of the complex socio-cultural civil military relationships in the countries we're assigned," said Lt. Darren Denyer, MCAT 104 team leader.

These skillsets will come into play in NF '10, which is a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief exercise in Uganda.

Approximately 1,150 military personnel from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and the United States will participate. The exercise will enhance the U.S. and partner nations' capabilities to work together in response to complex humanitarian emergencies and will consist of a disaster-relief (pandemic influenza) training scenario, field training exercise and humanitarian and civic assistance projects, to include medical, dental and engineering outreach programs. Natural Fire '10 will increase the understanding of each partner nations' capabilities and proficiencies, increasing their ability to operate together.

"The goal for the exercise planners, participants and MCAT 104 is to have a positive impact on the local population we will be working to help," said Denyer.

"In Northern Uganda the exercise will assist the Acholi people, a group ravaged by years of violence at the hands of the Lord's Resistance Army. Through medical outreach programs and engineering projects, participants will directly aid this population as desired by our Ugandan hosts."

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