News: USARAF coordinates transportation training in Burkina Faso
Story by Richard Bartell
OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso - Recently, U.S. Army and Air Force trainers worked with 27 Burkina Faso armed forces personnel during a second phase of unit movement training. The six-member Africa Deployment Assistance Partnership Team was led by Capt. Brad Copas of U.S. Army Africa’s G-4, Multi-National and Interagency branch.
The ADAPT trainers hailed from the Georgia Army National Guard’s 110th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion and the U.S. Air Force’s 818th Mobility Support Advisory Squadron based at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. The team provided classroom and hands-on training on deployment and air load planning, as well as cargo preparation.
“In this second phase of unit movement training, instructors gave Burkinabe students classes on building 463L pallets, applying netting and accurately determining the weight and balance of equipment. U.S. Air Force instructors developed and held a C-130 aircraft load plan exercise,” Copas said.
In spite of challenges of language and time in between phase 1 instruction, the training was successful.
“Our course material was in English. In Burkina Faso, French is the spoken language. We were indeed fortunate that we had two students who spoke English and had been to the U.S. for six months of training in the International Military Education Training program known as IMET. These students served as interpreters during the course,” Copas said. “The interpreters were excellent, and two weeks of translation allowed them to continue to build on their language skills as well as conveying the course subject matter to the other students.”
Copas is a native of Tompkinsville, Ky., and a Kentucky Army National Guard officer on active duty with USARAF.
Burkina Faso is a landlocked country located in northeastern central Africa. It’s surrounded by six countries; Mali, Niger, Benin Togo, Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire, also known as the Ivory Coast.
Several African partner nation events connected with the U.S. Department of State’s ADAPT program are managed by the USARAF G-4, Logistics staff. Overall, the goal of the program is to assist African partner nations to increase their deployment capacity in support of future peacekeeping or humanitarian relief operations, Copas said.
“ADAPT events not only improve the host nation capabilities, it gives us an opportunity to improve our inter-agency working relationships. In this case we had the opportunity to work with the U.S. Air Force and the Department of State,” Copas said.
The program is a Title 22 tactical logistics engagement funded by the U.S. Department of State and focuses on African countries that contribute troops to peacekeeping operations, Copas said.
Training takes place in three phases over a 12-month period in order to create a long-term, phased approach to building deployment capacity, Copas said. Instructors take students from a general orientation to tactical deployment principles to an advanced level of practical proficiency, he said.
“This exercise enhances our nation’s relationship with U.S. Army Africa,” Col. Dioubiel Ollo, commandant of the Burkina Faso Technical Logistics School said.
Joining Copas on the Burkina Faso ADAPT mission were 1st Lt. Vince McLean, Tech. Sgt. Maldonado Kiatisak, Tech. Sgt. Dwayne Giscombe, all from the U.S. Air Force’s 818th MSAS and Maj. Russ Walters and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Caleb Walters of the GARNG 110th CSSB.