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    Third Army welcomes Ethiopian General

    Third Army Welcomes Ethiopian General

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Burger | Maj. Gen. Bacha Debele Buta, head of defense combat engineering of the Ethiopian...... read more read more

    By Staff Sgt. Carlos M. Burger II
    Third Army/U.S. Army Central Public Affairs Office

    FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. – Lt. Gen. R. Steven Whitcomb, Third Army/U.S. Army Central commanding general, hosted a top Ethiopian general during an officer professional development seminar held at Third Army/U.S. Army Central Headquarters Aug. 3.

    Maj. Gen. Bacha Debele Buta, head of defense combat engineering of the Ethiopian National Defense Force and former commander of Eastern Corps, spoke with the USARCENT staff about lessons learned during Ethiopia's recent military campaign to support the Transitional Federal Government, the recognized government of Somalia.

    "It's always good to hear from a military that has been as successful in the War on Terrorism as Ethiopia," said Whitcomb.

    Buta was invited to speak here by Whitcomb and is the latest speaker in the Third Army Command Professional Development program, an initiative which brings in speakers from across the USARCENT's area of responsibility. The speakers usually hold seminars on subjects of interest to the Third Army command, said Col. Dave Huggins, Third Army director of Civil Military Affairs.

    "It is important that the Ethiopian and U.S. governments continue to work together to combat the War on Terror," Buta said before the seminar.

    After the opening remarks by Buta, the USARCENT staff was given a detailed presentation of the campaign. Ethiopia supported the TFG after it was forced out of Mogadishu by warlords of the Islamic Courts Union, later known as the Conservative Council of Islamic Courts, between June and December 2006. The Ethiopian government sent in its military to help reclaim the capitol and, after a series of battles, succeeded in re-establishing the TFG's control as government of Somalia last January. Buta was commander of ENDF operations in Somalia until early April, when he was chosen to become the Ethiopian National Defense Force chief of education and training. The Ethiopian government is still currently supporting the TFG.

    The seminar was the second of Buta's two-part visit with Third Army. Prior to the visit to the headquarters, Third Army sponsored his visit to the U.S. Engineering School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

    In the past, USARCENT has provided the ENDF with personnel to share information on subjects such as the roles of the lawyer's and inspector generals in the U.S. Army, said Maj. Kent W. Hall, Third Army Ethiopian desk officer.

    Hall said Buta's visit was extremely beneficial to Third Army, not just from the viewpoint of operational information, but to the two nations' continued efforts in the War on Terrorism.

    "The real importance of this visit is the formation of a basis of true partnership between Ethiopia and the United States. They can learn from us and we will learn from them," he said.



    Date Taken: 08.03.2007
    Date Posted: 08.03.2007 15:59
    Story ID: 11629

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