RDF impresses in joint military exercise

GABIRO- Fifty Rwanda Defence Forces men who have been undergoing a month-long Section Commander’s course jointly conducted by the US, British and Rwandan military passed out at Gabiro School of Infantry yesterday.
US Army Staff Sgt. Chad Sloan takes the NCOs through the drills earlier. (Photo - R. Scavetta).
US Army Staff Sgt. Chad Sloan takes the NCOs through the drills earlier. (Photo - R. Scavetta).

GABIRO- Fifty Rwanda Defence Forces men who have been undergoing a month-long Section Commander’s course jointly conducted by the US, British and Rwandan military passed out at Gabiro School of Infantry yesterday.

The exercise, aimed at building the operation capacity of the armies in urban operations and how to use basic infantry formations to fight their way into a targeted structure.

The course, the first of its kind jointly conducted by Rwandan, British and American (USA) officers was hailed as a job well done by the RDF’s Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga.

“I want to thank all the participants for a job well done. I think this has been effectively demonstrated because we just saw the performance on the field,” Lt. Gen. Kayonga said, noting that the demonstrations by the trainees were impressive.

The trainees had just demonstrated a bit of what they learned – how to advance on an invented enemy’s position and burst through with hardnosed fire power.

A subsequent communiqué indicates that the programme focused on developing squad leaders’ skills in using what is called the “train the trainer” method, and, the Army Chief of Staff was grateful for UK and US support, especially for what he said was an opportunity to compare experiences.

“We have done training of our own before, but it is always an opportunity, it is always an advantage when you have support from partners, particularly distinguished professionals like the United States army and the British army – we get an opportunity to compare and contrast with our own.”

The British Ambassador Nicholas Cannon was full of praise for the exercise saying that he was pleased and proud of the Royal Army’s contribution.

“The Rwanda Defence Force is a young defence force, but it has already achieved high levels of professionalism. We are happy to contribute our experience and training to enhance your potential,” Cannon said.

British Army Sgt. Erk Whitehouse was one of the 12 combined instructors, and he noted that he had a good time working with the Rwandan army as well as the Americans.

US’s Staff Sgt. Chad Sloan and Master Sgt. George Duenas, were also part of the team.

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