By Staff Sgt. Mark WatsonMay 14, 2007
KUWAIT (Army News Service, May 14, 2007) - Kenyan soldiers received an inside look at several U.S. Army specialty schools at Fort Benning, Ga., this week in hopes of taking lessons learned back to Kenya to start their own specialty schools.
The visit was part of the Third Army/U.S. Army Central\'s Theater Security Cooperation program, which hosts foreign soldiers and sends U.S. Soldiers to participating countries to interface with their counterparts.
"This builds relationships at all levels from the most junior enlisted to the most senior general," said Navy Lt. Jesse Nice, who is assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Kenya. "It is an information exchange."
The Kenyan soldiers received an up-close look at airborne, jumpmaster, pathfinder, drill sergeant and NCO development schools. While Kenya currently has an airborne school, its army may develop a ranger indoctrination program. The training will be based off the U.S. program.
"Our rangers will be a fast-strike force," said Maj. Ahmed Saman, the commandant of the Kenyan parachute training school. "They will be trained in counter terrorism and for other high speed operations."
Third Army conducts TSC activities throughout 24 countries in the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility. This includes enhancing or establishing relationships with regional national militaries to promote bilateral and multilateral interoperability, strategic access and operational basing.
With these programs, Third Army helps its partner countries strengthen their defense relationships and improve their ability to effectively participate in coalition operations.
Third Army TSC events can take many forms and can be conducted in the United States or in the partner country.
"In the future, our ranger instructors may have the opportunity to go to Kenya to advise their ranger instructors," said Maj. Andrew Harmon, Third Army's Ethiopian and Kenyan country desk officer.
The TSC program benefits both countries, he said. Not only does it broaden the Army's contacts throughout the area of operations, but the Soldiers gain a mutual understanding of each others culture.
"This is a way to make our allies stronger so they can take care of their problems internally, which in turn helps us," Maj. Harmon said. "If we can have allies that are both with us in thought and the fact they are willing to devote troops to fight basically our enemies, we are in effect helping the United States as a whole, so that we don't have to send our Soldiers out to fight in other countries."
"Third Army is the critical piece that brings everything together," Maj. Harmon said.
(Staff Sgt. Mark Watson writes for the129th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)