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    Special-Purpose MAGTF Africa prepares Burundi soldiers for future deployments

    Marines, Sailors prepare Burundian soldier for future deployments

    Photo By Cpl. Timothy Norris | A Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) service member cares for a simulated wound on...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe and Africa     

    Courtesy story by: Cpl. Timothy Norris, Special-Purpose MAGTF Africa 13

    BUJUMBURA, Burundi – Marines and Sailors with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Africa completed a four-week logistics operations engagement here with more than 80 members of the Burundi National Defense Force (BNDF) June 28, 2013.

    Burundian soldiers were provided the training to prepare them for future deployments in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia, an active, regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations in Somalia.

    “First and foremost we are here to train the Burundian soldiers to ensure their well-being and their tactical prowess is met so they can be successful and return home to their families after deployments,” said U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Nicolas DeGregorio, Special-Purpose MAGTF Africa team leader from Hoboken, N.J.

    The training was divided into five courses: Communications, leadership skills, Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), motor vehicle transport maintenance and warehouse logistics.

    Despite a language barrier, the soldiers made rapid progress.

    “The soldiers have picked it up rather quickly,” said U.S. Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman Mark Chesney, Special-Purpose MAGTF Africa independent duty corpsman.

    “We have built a very strong report and trusted understanding with each other,” said the Willliamsport, Pa., native. “I believe building that report is important for them to be willing to learn what we teach them.”

    Chesney taught a condensed TCCC course, which focuses on medical care in combat, to BNDF medics.

    Every instructor took a hands-on approach with their course: mechanics swapped parts; warehouse clerks organized equipment and materials; and communications specialists programmed their radios for multiple situation. Chesney taught how to perform sutures on a large cut of pork because the skin is very similar to humans’.

    “Many of them have seen trauma on the battlefield where they have used different techniques,” Chesney said. “But they have said the way we provide care is more efficient.”

    DeGregorio believes the soldiers’ successful training is due to both their dedication to learn and the experience of the instructors.

    “We’ve trained many different forces from many different lands,” he said. “I think that we can safely say the BNDF has been the most responsive, the most proactive- it’s been a pleasure and great experience training with them.”



    Date Taken: 06.28.2013
    Date Posted: 07.24.2013 09:03
    Story ID: 110687
    Location: BUJUMBURA, BI 
    Hometown: HOBOKEN, NJ, US
    Hometown: WILLIAMSPORT, PA, US

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