By Master Sgt. Stan Parker, CJTF-HOA Public AffairsMarch 2, 2009
KAREN, Kenya, Feb 27, 2009 - The commander and deputy commander of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) attended the graduation ceremony of 32 military officers, from nine East African countries, who successfully completed the Peace Operations Staff Course conducted by CJTF-HOA.
U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Anthony M. Kurta, Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa's commander, and U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Chris Leins, deputy commander, visited the International Peace Support Training Centre (IPSTC) in Karen, Kenya, the week of Feb. 23, 2009.
Kurta and Leins' visit to Kenya demonstrated CJTF-HOA's commitment to forging strong diplomatic ties with key international partners and partnering with African militaries to improve the security capacity of African nations.
During their visit, Kurta and Leins met with British Army Col. Andy Mason, commander of the British Peace Support Team, Mr. Simon Mulongo, director of the Eastern African Standby Brigade (EASBRIG), and IPSTC Commandant Lt. Col. M.K. Kombo of the Kenyan Navy.
Following the briefings, Kurta and Leins were on hand to help IPSTC mark a milestone, as the institution graduated military officers from nine East African countries. The 32 students attended three weeks of the Peace Operations Staff Course and met the requirements of their CJTF-HOA mentors.
IPSTC is a dynamic, evolving organization focused on supporting continental and regional stability through training and educational support to the African Union, EASBRIG, and all the countries of Africa. It continues to train military, police, and civilian personnel in all aspects of Peace Support Operations (PSO) to help improve the effectiveness of the international response to complex emergencies.
The Peace Support Training Center (PSTC) was established in January 2001 as part of the Kenyan Defense Staff College. Initially, PSTC conducted United Nations PSO Courses for Kenyan personnel but as it has evolved, PSTC opened its facilities and training to regional, continental and international students.
In July 2006, PSTC became a separate Kenyan Defense establishment and in the fall of 2007, PSTC took initial steps towards developing a strategic plan, and consequently changed its name to the International Peace Support Training Centre.
Since 2002, CJTF-HOA personnel have used military-to-military mentorship as the cornerstone to building regional security. CJTF-HOA has supported development by building and refurbishing schools, clinics and hospitals and conducting dozens of medical and veterinary civil action projects.