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Engineering a strong partnership in Uganda

US Marine Corps News

By Cpl. Alexander Mitchell | December 12, 2016

Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa partnered with Uganda People's Defense Force soldiers during training, Oct. 7- Dec. 11, 2016.

The bilateral training mission in Uganda focuses on sharing tactics in a multitude of skills including heavy equipment operation, mechanical work, motor transport techniques, communication and combat engineering.

"We are training the engineering and logistics element of the Ugandan battle group for deployments in support of Peacekeeping missions to Somalia where they will predominately be fighting Al Shabaab," said 1st Lt. Ty Hubicki, the Ugandan Theater Security Cooperation team leader with SPMAGTF-CR-AF.

Each group of training cadre contains Marines with experience in their field, teaching proven techniques to set the UPDF soldiers up for success during execution of future missions.

"It is good for us to receive this training so when we are sent on missions we can execute it smoothly," said Lt. Welborn Kwe Odwokariek, a motor transport team leader with the UPDF. "That is the importance of the training to us."

As the 13th iteration of the training misson at Camp Singo, the relationship between the Marines of SPMAGTF-CR-AF and the UPDF soldiers represents a long-standing partnership in the region.

"Each iteration has been modified based off lessons learned from past teams and UPDF deployments to Somalia," said Hubicki. "A unique approach my team has taken is integrating with the different countries and contractors who also provide training to the UPDF here aboard the camp. It has allowed our students to experience interoperability within their own military and apply their newly acquired skills in a real world setting. It has also allowed our students to make a lasting impact on base infrastructure and the local community further building good relations."

By working together, Marines and UPDF soldiers improve their individual abilities as well as build a stronger partnership which will increase interoperability for future operations.

"We are learning a lot from the Marines and the cooperation between us is helping the training and the knowledge we are gaining," said Odwokariek. "There is a very strong friendship and bond between Uganda and the United States."

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