37 officers of Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) are set to take part in the upcoming regional joint military training exercise code named ‘Natural Fire 11’.
The Command Post exercise which is slated from September 16 to 21 at Chukwani Military Centre in Zanzibar, will bring together forces from all the five EAC partner countries and the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM).
In an interview with The New Times yesterday, RDF Spokesperson, Col Joseph Nzabamwita, said that the forces are prepared to participate in the exercise.
“By engaging in a joint exercise with other EAC (East Africa Community) militaries, we shall build inter operability, cooperation and capacity to respond quickly and efficiently to complex security challenges,” he asserted.
Nzabamwita stated that RDF, Police and the Ministries of Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Affairs and that of EAC would also be represented by five senior officials who would be taken through a theoretical overview in the areas of peace support operations, disaster management, pandemic response, counter terrorism and counter piracy.
“Training in disaster management, pandemic response, counter terrorism and counter piracy are relevant fields which RDF needs constant training and preparation to not only serve Rwanda but other African nations also, “he emphasised.
The RDF Spokesperson noted that the joint military drills enhance a dynamic EAC and fosters integration process.
Officers from the EAC Partner States’ defence forces and USAFRICOM arrived in Zanzibar on Sunday, ahead of the event’s official opening on September 16.
More than 300 military personnel from the regional bloc and the USAFRICOM will participate in Natural Fire 11, whose theme is to ensure security and foster regional stability.
The military drills follows similar exercises held in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania (Mainland) in the past.
Exercises such as Natural Fire 11 are part of efforts to deepen cooperation in defence by the EAC Partner States guided by the MoU on Defence cooperation in four areas which are; military training; joint operations; technical assistance.
Others are sporting exchanges and range competitions as well as visits by Chiefs of Defence and exchange of information.