By Sgt. Jennifer Garza (Africa)July 19, 2018
JINJA, Uganda -- Different patterned uniforms, go back and forth from a computer to a map, intently trying to solve a task as one team. Militaries from 10 nations are working together on a real-life training scenario based on the African Union Mission to Somalia's objectives here during Justified Accord 2018, June 18-28.
Justified Accord is an annual, combined, joint exercise bringing together personnel, African Partner militaries, police, allies, international organizations and the U.S. Army to promote interoperability between participating nations for peace keeping operations in the East Africa region.
"We are replicating a sector command, specifically sector one of the United Nations AMISOM Mission responsible for Mogadishu," said Lt. Col. Larry Coleman, joint deputy director for Justified Accord 2018, North Carolina, National Guard. "We are training the staff officers to react to incidents that they would see in that area such small arms attack, IEDs, and working with the civilian population to restore internal security."
The AMISOM mission is an active, regional peacekeeping mission that was created in 2007 by the African Union with the approval of the United Nations in Somalia. The AMISOM mission is mandated to support transitional governmental structures, implement a national security plan, train the Somalia security forces, and to assist in creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid, according to the AMISOM website.
"The training shows the command and control to see if the action officer to commander level involvement from the troop contributing countries is able to execute mission command," said U.S. Army Maj. Matt Hagerman, executive officer civil affairs detachment, Horn of Africa. "This will allow them to employ some of the skills that have been worked on to take the skills down-range."
The training focuses on establishing a multinational sector HQ, conducting planning in accordance with the EASF Six Step Estimate Process. JA18 also tasks participants to provide command and control of combined forces, integrate operations with the other components of a Multidimensional Peace Support Operation, plan and execute support operations to NGO's and IO's, and plan for a forward operating base transition to Somalia National Army.
The exercise consists of academic classes, discussion-based practical exercises, and a command post exercise focusing on an AMISOM peacekeeping scenario. The 62nd Ordnance Company, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, 242nd Ordnance Battalion from Fort Carson, Colorado will train along side the Ugandan Combat Engineer Squadron on disposing; neutralizing impact and preventing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used by violent extremist organizations.
"The injects are very realistic and in AMISOM there are several countries providing forces and the challenges of interoperability, exercises like this help resolve,"
Col. Njoroge Gitogo , deputy sector commander for JA18. "This opens opportunities to train our forces back home. Having the Somalian Armed forces national members in the CPX was key, it is important to involve them as they are providing very good information."