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    US Army, ENDF train side by side during Justified Accord 2019

    US, ENDF soldiers conduct cordon and search training at Justified Accord 2019

    Photo By Sgt. Aubry Buzek | U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment navigate a...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Aubry Buzek 

    345th Public Affairs Detachment

    DIRE DAWA, Ethiopia - For members of the Ethiopian National Defense Force who will deploy to conduct peacekeeping operations in Somalia, interactive training based on real-world scenarios could mean the difference between life and death.

    At the Hurso Training Center near Dire Dawa, Ethiopia, U.S. Army Soldiers from infantry, military police, explosive ordnance disposal and engineering units worked with the ENDF to sharpen their skills at three situational training exercise (STX) lanes July 19-24, during Justified Accord 2019.

    The exercise, directed by U.S. Africa Command and led by U.S. Army Africa, is designed to enhance the capacity and capability of participating staff and forces in peacekeeping operations in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

    The STX lanes training scenarios required the troops to locate a downed pilot, find and disarm improvised explosive devices, process and search internally displaced persons, and conduct a cordon and search operation to kill or capture a high-value target hiding in a Somali hut. Although the language barrier presented some challenges, many troops said that they found the lanes to be a valuable avenue to watch each other's tactics and to exchange ideas and knowledge.

    "The hardest part is communication. We come from different places and speak different languages, so we are working through that," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Caleb Findley, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment. "The good side is we get to see how (the Ethiopians) do things and they get to see how we do things. It's been really good training and it's going to get better from here."

    To prepare for and create the training, instructors identified real-world challenges the ENDF might find themselves faced with when fighting violent extremist organizations in the region. For the improvised explosive device training, EOD professionals researched the types of bombs being used in Somalia to see what gaps they could fill, using practical, real-world scenarios.

    "We looked at some of the items that were in the region and we saw that because Somalia is so close next door, it was a lot of homemade explosives and fewer of unexploded ordnances that we have seen in Iraq or Afghanistan," Matteson said. "The Ethiopians seem pretty well versed with homemade items so this is the area that we are trying to fill in for them. They have had a lot of combat experience, so we are learning things from them just like we are showing them some of the things that we do."

    To incorporate the IED training into the scenarios, instructors created lanes with complex missions. At one, instructors hired local villagers to play internally displaced persons (IDP) and challenged the ENDF to process and search them to ensure they weren't trying to carry any IEDs through a traffic control point. At another lane, the ENDF conducted a cordon and search operation to capture or kill a U.S. Army Soldier disguised as an IED cell leader hiding in one of three Somali-style huts at the top of a steep hill.

    In all of the scenarios, U.S. Army Soldiers found the ENDF troops eager to successfully implement the techniques that were presented during academic instruction.

    "They are really receptive, they learn very quickly and they can emulate to a T things that we show them and the training that we've shown them so far," said U.S. Army Sgt. Marc Chiasson, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment.
    Throughout the STX lanes, U.S. Army and ENDF troops worked side by side to problem-solve and strategize their movements. Though they may not speak the same language, troops made it clear they felt the training was helping to build strong partnerships between the two countries.

    "We are happy we are working with American soldiers," said ENDF Lance Cpl. Dessalegn Neyew, assigned to the 102nd Infantry Brigade. "We are giving them what we have and they're giving us what they have, and that is a very good thing because they are the best in the world."

    "I think it's awesome to witness and experience working with the Ethiopian army," said U.S. Army 1st Lt. Robert Settles, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment. "They are very professional and I speak nothing but praise on their training. This kind of training enhances our army and their army, and our relationship is very important moving forward."

    Following the STX lanes, the troops will participate in a multi-day, platoon-level demonstration to showcase their skills and the strong partnership that is being built by the U.S. Army and the ENDF.



    Date Taken: 07.26.2019
    Date Posted: 08.01.2019 05:47
    Story ID: 334013
    Location: ADDIS ABABA, ET 

    Web Views: 846
    Downloads: 2