By Rich Bartell, U.S. Army Africa Public AffairsJuly 3, 2013
As part of African Deployment Partnership Training known as ADAPT, three U.S. Army Soldiers traveled to Lomé, Togo, to provide Phase II of Ground Training for 29 Togolese Defense Force personnel.
Capt. Brad Copas of U.S. Army Africa's G-4 Logistics Directorate coordinated training with the assistance of two soldiers from Fort Riley, Kan., May 6-16.
"This was my third trip to provide ADAPT to the Togolese. Training was held at The Operations Training Center to Maintain Peace," Copas said. "Phase II is a train-the-trainer segment of the ground course. It gives our Togolese partners the ability to train other soldiers as unit movement officers or UMOs," Copas said.
Capt. Aaron Shramek and Sgt. Sonia Hernandez of the 299th Brigade Support Battalion at Fort Riley, Kan. worked with Copas as primary instructors for the training.
"The Togolese Forces were extremely eager to learn. They picked up the concepts quickly and adapted them to the equipment and resources they had available," said Shramek.
Some of the subject areas covered in the course were: determining vehicle center of balance; load planning; standard vehicle preventative maintenance checks and services; and preparing convoy command briefs.
As a Theater Security Cooperation Plans Officer for USARAF, Copas is instrumental in setting-up and running ADAPT for various African partner nations.
Copas commended Togolese students and their interpreters for their professionalism and academic diligence.
"The Togolese military is working hard to continue to serve as a partner in peace keeping operations in Africa. This class was a motivated group and our interpreters were among the best -- and our site coordinator, Capt. Birenam Tcheouafei, operations officer at the Peace Keeping Center, ensured that we had everything set-up and ready to go when it was needed," Copas said. "Through our partnered efforts, we were able to modify the instruction to create a course that was tailored to their specific needs."
Commandant of the Operations Center, Lt. Col. Katanga N'Dayome Nakoura, took great interest in the training and looks forward to further ADAPT engagements.
"We appreciate the opportunity to train with American forces. We have gained a lot of practical skills that we hope to expand upon through future partnerships," Nakura said.
Copas explains how ADAPT builds partnership capacity promotes professionalism.
"ADAPT builds partner capacity by improving the Togolese military's ability to prepare for and deploy their units and equipment," Copas, a Lexington, Ky. native, said. "ADAPT can affect the professionalism of their military by interacting with our trainers. I think our training and mentoring assists them in seeing how we use our noncommissioned officers as primary trainers."
Copas said, though the course was well taught and attended, there were some challenges.
"Naturally, the biggest challenge is the translation of course material from French to American English," Copas said. "However, in spite of the language challenges -- we had a great group of students and our interpreters did a superior job as well."
Copas paid tribute to the assistance rendered by the U.S. Office of Security Cooperation in Lome.
"This ADAPT event went very smoothly. I attribute that to the coordination effort of Mr. Robert Dedzie at the U.S. Embassy in Lome. Mr. Dedzie really put a tremendous effort and prior planning into our training needs. It truly was a team effort," Copas said.
According to Copas, final ADAPT Phase III Ground Training in Togo will take place in the near future.