News: Rwandan Defense Force, Texas National Guardsmen exchange best practices
Story by Staff Sgt. Malcolm McClendon
GAKO, Rwanda – At various military-to-military exchanges hosted by the Rwandan Defense Force, U.S. Army Maj. Timothy Amerson, 1st Lt. Charles Cummings, and Staff Sgt. Corey Roder, Task Force Raptor, 3rd Squadron, 124th Cavalry Regiment, Texas Army National Guard, and Rwandan soldiers and policemen shared their experiences and knowledge on basic soldier skills and staff officer duties and responsibilities.
During one of these exchanges, Amerson, operations officer for Headquarters Troop, 3-124th CAV, participated in a command post exercise with fellow staff officers from the RDF, held June 11 - 22. The exercise presented scenarios staff officers might have to deal with in a combat environment.
Amerson said he appreciated the opportunity to witness how a senior RDF officer would handle opposition forces.
“In one of the scenarios, I was a rebel blocking the road and not letting the humanitarian assistance convoy he was in charge of get through,” Amerson said. “Because of his experience, he came up to me and tried to establish a relationship, rather than use force to accomplish his mission.”
RDF Warrant Officer 1 Nikonsanzwe J. Boscoe, a nurse at the Gako Military Academy, had the opportunity to share his experience at a combat lifesaver seminar held, June 11 – 15.
He said the opportunity to exchange best practices on the subject was a valuable experience to all.
“We exchanged best practices on the basics of combat casualty care,” Boscoe said. “I myself learned a lot from the tactics U.S. soldiers use to administer first aid in combat. It was good to meet with medical professionals like myself and exchange ideas. We all had something to share and learn.”
At a peace support operations soldiers skills field training event held, June 18 – July 13, Cummings and Roder learned more from the RDF about jungle warfare and conversely had the opportunity to share their knowledge on fighting in desert environments.
Cummings said he was grateful for the opportunity.
“Being able to work with them and share our best tactics, techniques and procedures [provided great insight] into each other’s best practices,” Cummings said. “Because of the different types of combat environments our militaries have experience in, we were able to share, discuss and grow from our combined knowledge.”
The soldiers from 3-124th CAV conduct military-to-military exchanges like these throughout East Africa in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, whose mission is to strengthen partner nation military capacity in East Africa.