Mawali Defense Force soldiers complete final phase of pre-deployment instruction
May 8, 2013
-- As part of African Deployment Partnership Training known as ADAPT, three U.S. Army Soldiers traveled to Senga Bay, Malawi, to provide a final phase of Ground Training to Malawia Defense Force personnel.
Capt. Brad Copas, of U.S. Army Africa's G-4 Logistics Directorate along with two soldiers from 299th Brigade Support Battalion, Fort Riley, Kan., provided a final course of instruction for 38 Malawian Defence Force personnel, April 15-26, focused on giving students the capability to be instructors for a unit movement officer course.
According to Copas, the ADAPT-Ground Phase III has recently undergone curriculum and presentation modifications.
"This is the first group of students to successfully complete the final phase of the ground training," Copas said. "We have consolidated and it is a tremendous amount of information. The phases of instruction take place during an 18-month window that had formerly taken place over a four-year time span."
As a Theater Security Cooperation Plans Officer for USARAF, Copas is instrumental in setting-up and running ADAPT for various African partner nations.
Staff Sgt. Jacinta Bonner and Chief Warrant Officer Two Francis Ash are the primary instructors for the Ground Phase III pre-deployment training and basic convoy operations, held at the Malawi Armed Forces College.
Copas praised the facility and the students.
"We had great support from the Malawi Armed Forces College. Our classroom and training areas were excellent. Additionally, the MDF students are among the best I've ever had the opportunity to help train," Copas said.
"Students were broken down into three groups and rotated between five stations. Each MDF student was given the opportunity to serve as a small group instructor. About 40 percent of the students were able to serve as the main instructor giving class to the entire group," Copas said.
"All the students performed at a high level. We push a lot of information during the course. It's really like a fire hose of information and they are very good at capturing and assimilating it. It's a pleasure running these courses," Copas said.
Copas said the intended outcome of the ADAPT Phase III training is to improve MDF capability and ability to improve their mobility for deployment by having trained unit mobility instructors.
"With the completion of Phase III, MDF students can return to their home units with skills and knowledge to prepare for deployment as well as convoy operations in peacetime environments," Copas said.
Copas explained how the course is used by the MDF.
"MDF troops are accustomed to conducting convoy and deployment operations. Our Malawian partners are great students and good at adapting our training to their operations," Copas said. "They currently participate in United Nations peace keeping missions and will deploy again soon. As a result, they'll be able to use this training to enhance the convoy and deployment phases of those missions."
Copas said students worked through a variety of practical exercises such as determining load plans, vehicle center of balance, preparing for airlift and convoy communications.
He praised MDF students for their professionalism and academic excellence.
"This is my fifth trip to Malawi to provide ADAPT training to MDF personnel. They come to class prepared and motivated. The MDF students are among the best I have ever taught," Copas, a Lexington, Ky. native, said.
According to USARAF's Capt. Jim Beecher, multi-national and interagency branch logistics officer with G-4 Logistics, ADAPT is positive way to improve African Nation partner relationships.
"ADAPT Phase III is our final phase of the Ground program where we provide guidance as host nation instructors," Beecher said. "Our intent is to teach host nation students technical classes and practical exercises. By doing this we have empowered our partners with capacity they can apply as needed."