FORT POLK, La. – Senegalese soldiers visited the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) July 22 to observe training conducted by the Arkansas Army National Guard’s 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and its supporting elements during rotation 21-08.
The delegation included Col. Simon Sarr, deputy commander of Operations in Senegal; Lt. Col. Ali Mime, second in command for direction of transmission signal; Maj. Omar Faye, second in command for Senegal Headquarters; Maj. Mathieu D Sambou, commandant de CET 7; Maj. Ibraham Diaw, second-in-command for the Airborne Battalion; Maj. Ibrahima Cisse, commander for Logistical Headquarters, and Sgt. 1st Class Boubacar Ba, 1st Sgt. of the Commando Battalion.
The knowledge they gained during this JRTC rotation will help improve their military forces and structure, said U.S. Army Staff Sgt. William Landestoy. Landestoy, assigned to the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade, helped lead a tour of the simulated combat zone at JRTC. The Senegalese were able to see the spectrum of operations, from the initial planning to the execution of combat missions.
The first stop was at Sangari, one of the villages in the zone. The Senegalese talked to civilian role players cast as villagers about how they contribute to the realism of the combat training. The Senegalese soldiers spoke with members of the command team of the 325th Tactical Psychological Operations Company, which is supporting the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, about weapons systems and training objectives.
The soldiers then got a look at the 39th Infantry Brigade Combat Team’s tactical operations center. They walked through the 39th Brigade Support Battalion’s medical holding tents with U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Tammy Dougan, a combat medic assigned to Charlie Company. They asked Dougan about medical transportation and how the sustainment brigade supports a deployed unit during real combat.
The final stop of the walkthrough was a meeting with 1st Lt. Gavin Balee, an armor officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 134th Cavalry Regiment, Nebraska Army National Guard. Balee spoke about drafting combat plans while operating in a tactical command post. The process focuses on the critical tasks and coordination within a unit’s battlespace.
“Next year, we are hoping to visit again and train at JRTC ourselves,” said Mime, adding that he and the other Senegalese soldiers would continue observing and learning from the U.S. Army National Guardsmen training at JRTC for several more days before returning to Africa.