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US Begins Training Exercises With Ethiopian National Defense Forces

Addis Tribune (Addis Ababa), 11 July 2003

Forces from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) have begun a three-month bilateral training exercise with Ethiopian National Defense Forces at the Hurso Training Camp, northwest of Dire Dawa, according to American reports from Hurso, Hararghe.

Infantry forces from the U.S. Army’s 10th Mountain Division, currently assigned to CJTF-HOA, are providing infantry skills training on small unit tactics. U.S. soldiers are also addressing skills necessary for both anti-and counter-terrorism missions with members of the 12th Division of the Ethiopian Army as part of Ethiopia’s effort to establish the first of three new anti-terrorism battalions.

CJTF-HOA forces will conduct three training packages with Ethiopian troops, training one company from the new anti-terrorism battalion during each 30-day session. The training is focused on a number of military skills, from individual infantry weapons marksmanship to small unit movement in a variety of environments.

CJTF training with anti-terrorism battalion forces is based on the principle of training the trainers, so that Ethiopian forces can tailor future training needs to mission requirements.

In addition to infantry skills training with Ethiopian troops at Hurso, CJTF-HOA forces from the U.S Army’s 478th Civil Affairs Battalion will also be in Ethiopia to assess and conduct initial coordination for a variety of civil-military operations in and around Dire Dawa, Galadi and Dolo Odo, among other areas. CJTF representatives will meet with local leaders to determine needs and design plans that best meet the needs of Ethiopians in the local area.

CJTF Civil Affairs personnel intend to conduct at least one Medical Civic Action Program (MEDCAP) while in Ethiopia, expecting to treat and provide preventive care instruction to several hundred residents in the training areas. The CJTF has found that MEDCAPs are both an efficient and effective means of providing needed services and improving life for people in rural communities across the Horn of Africa region.

Through the MEDCAP, CJTF-HOA intends to provide much needed aid in the control and prevention of infections and diseases. Medical educational aid is also a vital part of preventive medicine programs within the overall humanitarian activities plan implemented by CJTF forces.

CJTF Civil Affairs personnel also plan to work with local leaders in and around Dire Dawa, Galadi and Dolo Odo on several school refurbishment projects in the coming weeks. After assessing the needs of each community, and equipment and resources required for school projects, Civil Affairs personnel expect to address a variety of structural and maintenance issues at school facilities in addition to providing both interior and exterior painting.

Based at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, the principal mission of CJTF-HOA is to detect, disrupt and defeat transnational terrorist groups in the Horn of Africa region. The CJTF is also engaged in supporting coalition partner efforts to deny the opportunity for re-emergence of terrorist networks, thereby contributing to long-term stability for the region.

The 1,800-member CJTF, comprised of personnel from all branches of the U.S. armed forces, civilian representatives and coalition liaison officers, was formed to oversee operations in the Horn of Africa for U.S. Central Command in support of the Global War on Terrorism.