By Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente, USAFJanuary 28, 2008
TADJOURA, Djibouti (Army News Service, Jan. 28, 2008) - After completing 70 days of training under Guam National Guard Soldiers, 60 Djiboutian National Army soldiers graduated from the Able Dart 08-01-Tadjoura Train-the-Trainer Course at the Regiment Inter-Army Tadjoura compound last week.
Guam National Guard unit 1st Battalion, 294th Infantry (Light), Delta Company, serving under Combined Joint Task Force-Horn facilitated the anti- and counter-terrorism training for the Djiboutian soldiers, enabling them to return to their regiments to provide fellow soldiers the same skills.
At the graduation ceremony, the Guard's commander, Capt. Joseph I. Cruz, told the graduates that their willingness to learn and their motivation and esprit de corps were noteworthy and commendable.
"Of course, all this is a true testament to the level of professionalism in your army, which brings credit upon each of you, the Djiboutian National Army and the country of Djibouti," Cruz said. "My Soldiers have learned just as much from you as you have from them," Cruz said. "We look forward to working with you again in the future as we continue to strengthen the bond between our countries and defeat terrorism in this region.
Specific anti-terrorism and counter-terrorism training Djiboutian soldiers received included tactics and topics of human rights, squad-level defenses, offensive operations, improvised explosive device familiarization, traffic control points and quick reaction forces.
"The training was long and tough, but we are now able to take what we have learned back to our regiments and train other soldiers to be knowledgeable and successful in many areas," said Abdi Amir Djama, a train-the-trainer graduate. "We are happy for what Delta company has taught us, and I am proud to be able to teach soldiers in my regiment the same skills I have learned."
Combined, the topics served to provide the soldiers with the knowledge and capabilities to deter and repress extremists who wish to establish a foothold within the Tadjoura region.
The 10-week course was designed to build up knowledge that was sequentially taught. The degree of difficulty was increased throughout the training and was put to the test in a culminating exercise called Operation Able Dart.
Gratitude was a universal note to graduates, CJTF-HOA and the Tadjoura community from the distinguished visitors who had an opportunity to address the audience.
"I want to thank the forces stationed here in Djibouti for helping our military forces," said Djiboutian army Brig. Gen. Osman Nour Soubagleh, Djiboutian Army East African Standby Brigade commanding general. "I also want to thank the Djiboutian soldiers for their knowledge and going through the difficult training they have just completed. You have become a confident technician in fighting the war against terrorism."
(Air Force Staff Sgt. Jennifer Redente serves with Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa Public Affairs.)