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    U.S., African intelligence professionals of MINOC-A lead the way for sustainable multilateral engagements


    Photo By Tatum Vayavananda | The graduation of the Military Intelligence Noncommissioned Officer’s Course- Africa...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Tatum Vayavananda 

    U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Europe and Africa     

    OUAGADOGOU, Burkina Faso – Look no further than the Military Intelligence Non-Commissioned Officer’s Course- Africa for a leading example of multilateral cooperation, international military partnership, and self-sustaining engagements; a program that help bolster partner military capability and intelligence capacity to address the transnational issues of the continent.

    The MINOC-A program, instructed by intelligence professionals from the Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility, Molesworth, U.K., graduated their third iteration of African noncommissioned officers Dec. 5 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The graduation was attended by the U.S. Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Ambassador Tulinabo Mushingi, as well as the Burkinabe Chief of Defense Brig.Gen. Nabere Honoré Traore, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Matthew J. Kohler, director for the Intelligence Directorate, U.S. Africa Command, and U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Mallette, senior enlisted leader for the Intelligence Directorate, AFRICOM.

    The Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility (RJITF) exists to train, educate and professionally develop intelligence practitioners of U.S. Africa Command, U.S. European Command, allies and partner nations to operate effective intelligence professionals.
    “This course is based on the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Course- Africa [program],” said Randall H. Bretzin, a MINOC-A instructor from RJITF. “Because of the nature of Africa, the situations are often transnational issues, so it’s good to have a network and build that capacity.”

    MINOC-A is a U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa-led, U.S. Africa Command program that included intelligence professionals from the noncommissioned and staff noncommissioned officer ranks from Burkina Faso, Senegal, Chad, Niger, and Tunisia.

    “They come to the course with some experience in intelligence and a lot of operational experience in Africa, with peacekeeping operations or dealing with insurgencies and conflicts in their own country,” said Bretzin.

    The 8-week MINOC-A curriculum started with basic intelligence skills to introduce and standardize terminology and procedures that will be used in joint and combined military-intelligence environments. Over the course, the class covered the different intelligence disciplines of human, geographical, and signal intelligence; the intelligence cycle and the process of interacting with the commander; working with collectors, analysis, production and dissemination of intelligence; critical-thinking principles; and Intelligence Preparation of the Environment (IPOE).

    “The blocks of instruction that we teach have accompanying exercises, so it’s not just presentations; they are doing small group work and they do it with all the analytical tools that we teach them,” said Bretzin.

    “We are pushing the idea of the integrated-intelligence NCO where officers can rely on the NCOs to do very sophisticated analysis and put together good products,” added Bretzin.

    Each country advised and shared knowledge and procedures during the seminar to build a collective knowledge base that they can take home back to their country.

    “It’s important to mix us together to share information, especially with the situations at home where we need to work together to cope with them,” said Burkinabé Master Sgt. Papa Dakuyo, an intelligence specialist attending MINOC-A III. “The knowledge will be very important to conduct analysis and suggestion solutions to our commanders for making decisions.”

    At the successful completion of the course, there was a ceremony that was attended by many V.I.P. and distinguished visitors to celebrate the multinational group of graduates’ accomplishment.
    “The greatness of our military cooperation is demonstrated through interoperability and assistance programs,” said Traore in his graduation address to the students.

    “Some of our African forces face new threats and regional and international crime, however, there is no doubt that defeating an enemy that has no country, no face and no territory comes from international cooperation,” said Traore.

    “I have no doubt that the graduates will make their knowledge available in their respective countries and cooperation to overcome the asymmetric threats we face now-and-days,” added the Traore. “Thank you for fighting a common enemy, a fight which we couldn’t talk about peace or development in our countries.”

    As a leading example of self-sustaining military engagements, assistant course instructors are previous MINOC-A graduates from past iterations. The program makes use of a broad network of intelligence professionals from partner militaries, the Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, and AFRICOM intelligence offices.

    “[For] the operations [the U.S.] contributes to, we are limited in what we support and the number of personnel involved; we want to facilitate and enable the Africans to take the lead and take the charge and in many cases they will be multinational operations; they will be African led,” said Bretzin.

    Three MINOC-A graduates from Burkina Faso, Senegal, and Tunisia participated in this iteration as associate to assist RJITF personnel, one of which is a Senegalese native who now works for the U.S. intelligence community. Having past graduates advise their African partners also had regional and cultural benefits to the class and U.S. counterparts that aren’t listed in the curriculum.

    “They have things they understand among themselves that we don’t understand; they help us learn about the nuances of these conflicts in their backyard,” he added.

    Through MINOC-A, “they can work through issues and have more effective performance with their multinational groups and feel confident in working together,” said Bretzin. “It serves AFRICOM to have these partners that do learn from us, but also go back out to teach it.”

    Ultimately, MINOC-A is less about teaching and more about operations, intelligence capacity, and regional security through partnerships.

    “As intelligence professionals, you must also develop a strong grasp of your intelligence capabilities and how to employ it to your country; at the end of the day, your advice to your commander will save lives, provide security, reduce risk to your force and drive successful operations,” said Kohler.

    “We are partners together and share a common effort and long-term struggle against a common enemy and I hope and expect that this training has improved our collective capability to meet this challenge.”



    Date Taken: 12.13.2013
    Date Posted: 12.13.2013 06:41
    Story ID: 118176
    Location: OUAGADOUGOU, BF
    Hometown: STUTTGART, BW, DE

    Web Views: 224
    Downloads: 1