Local intel training sets standard, saves dollars
October 22, 2013
With the U.S. government shutdown and budget constraints, U.S. Army Africa manages to continue mission requirements and raise Vicenza, Italy as a prominent training locale on Africa - all for the cost of nothing.
Ted Flaherty, USARAF (G-2) intelligence Analysis and Production chief, said Vicenza is hosting a series of mobile training teams from the Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility (RJITF) to equip USARAF analysts with the skills and knowledge to produce the highest quality intelligence.
RJITF is an Africa Command institution based at Royal Air Force Station Molesworth in England, and also offers courses at AFRICOM headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. USARAF analysts were being sent to the courses in Germany and England, but due to funding restrictions, RJITF agreed to a long-term program of training support by sending instructors directly to Vicenza.
"To send analysts to all the courses in Germany or England in Fiscal Year 2013 alone would have cost approximately $102,000, and $129,000 for planned Fiscal Year 14. Instead, with AFRICOM agreeing to send trainers to us, the cost to USARAF is zero," Flaherty said.
Courses in the RJITF include intelligence tradecraft, a five-day "Africa 101" course and five courses on individual African regions. To date, Vicenza has hosted twelve RJITF courses, with another eight planned for the rest of this Fiscal Year 14.
"The ultimate objective is to provide USARAF analysts with the training and skills they need to provide the best intelligence support to USARAF staff and commanding general," Flaherty said. "But with trainers coming to Vicenza, we were able to broaden participation across the USARAF staff and had elements of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team, Air Force Africa and Marine Forces Africa in these training classes, raising Vicenza's prominence as a center for Africa analysis."
Flaherty stressed the importance of the RJITF courses.
"This initiative is in AFRICOM's interest, since this training gives USARAF analysts the same training baseline as AFRICOM's analysts, and increases capabilities to support our own staff, and indirectly, our higher headquarters -- everyone wins," Flaherty said.