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    No Limits: U.S. Marines, Gabonese train at Cooperative Security Location

    No Limits: U.S. Marines, Gabonese train at Cooperative Security Location

    Photo By Cpl. Christopher Mendoza | Gabonese Gendarmerie service members practice non-lethal compliance techniques at a...... read more read more

    LIBREVILLE, Gabon - U.S. Marines hosted more than 40 Gabonese military members aboard their Cooperative Security Location in Libreville, Gabon, to learn about generator maintenance and non-lethal weapons tactics and techniques, June 22-24.

    Marine Lance Cpl. Keegan Nelson, a generator mechanic with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, provided classes on major generator components and demonstrated how they operate. Keegan’s hands-on approach received praise from the Gabonese students, who will be able take his lessons back to their units.

    “[We] showed them all the parts because they were shown pictures …” Keegan said. “It was definitely good training, and I think they learned a lot.”

    Members of the Gabon Army and Air Force with varying levels of experience took part in the training and, despite the language barrier, remained engaged in discussion.

    “As far as I am concerned, I am responsible for a team that does these kinds of operations, which means that I can now teach my men and even take care of issues myself like preventive maintenance,” said Gabon Air Force 2nd Lt. Fabre Likala Bibana, the head of an aircraft maintenance department.

    Likala Bibana said he appreciated the training and would like to see the curriculum progress in future rotations. In the meantime, he will take the skills back to his department.

    “We want this kind of training to last long so [Marines] can teach us all kinds of technical skills that exist in the Marine Corps because [they] are very skilled in lots of military techniques in different geographic areas,” said Likala Bibana.

    The two groups also strengthened their martial prowess during non-lethal weapons classes.

    Marine Cpl. Elias Barker, an infantryman with SPAMGTF-CR-AF, assisted in the instruction of non-lethal weapons training with his fellow Marines. The curriculum included basic techniques with and without a baton, joint manipulations, and small formations utilized in riot and crowd control scenarios.

    To test their students’ retention of the material, the Marines introduced some physical training and stressful situations into the practical application, where students completed a circuit-based workout prior to executing techniques.

    “The circuit course we implemented applied some stress and created fear of the unknown,” Barker explained. “[The Gabonese] are going to be tired and stressed out, and they’re not going to know exactly what to do at that moment.”

    That moment of exhaustion and confusion is when Barker told his students they need to “read the situation to implement the proper procedures.”

    Less than 200 Marines with SPMAGTF-CR-AF, currently based out of Morón Air Base, Spain, are validating their forward-staging abilities through the use of CSLs throughout Africa. While this capability is not new to the Marine Corps, it is constantly being refined by the rotational units that employ them. The training experiences, such as the ones in Gabon, are a welcomed opportunity for the U.S. and Gabonese service members alike, further strengthening an ongoing partnership they will continue to develop.



    Date Taken: 06.24.2015
    Date Posted: 06.26.2015 14:24
    Story ID: 168305
    Location: LIBREVILLE, GA

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