The first Brigade HQ to be trained in Somalia for a generation has completed command and staff training in Mogadishu, and has returned to their headquarters in Baidoa, the capital of Southwest State in Somalia, at a UK provided barracks.
The command and staff course for Somali National Army (SNA) officers from Baidoa, was delivered by British Army personnel deployed on Operation TANGHAM. The course covered planning and conducting stabilisation operations,and 19 SNA officers trained to work alongside national and international security partners including the Somali Police Force and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), as they battle against Al Shabaab.
The British Army commander who delivered the training, Lieutenant Colonel Alex Hutton, said:
The Command and Staff course has given the officers from 8 Brigade a strong foundation in planning and control of Brigade-level operations. My team and I are now looking forward to developing their skills and continuing to advise them in-person from our training base in Baidoa.
The contingent was recently visited by the Somali Minister for Defence and the British Ambassador to Somalia.
Addressing the students and visiting senior members of the Somali National Army, The British Ambassador to Somalia, Ben Fender OBE, said:
Effective planning and oversight of operations is vital to defeat Al Shabaab, and our ground-breaking course for SNA officers will give them the skills that they need in order to plan and conduct effective operations.
The UK is helping to develop the core of a strong professional army that can keep Baidoa and its surrounding areas safer. We are committed to supporting Somalia in its fight against Al Shabaab.
The UK also supports the Somali National Army by providing equipment including uniforms and radios, and a fleet of vehicles including trucks, ambulances and land cruisers, which provide mobility for 8 Brigade to operate in an effective manner.
The UK is also supporting Somalia to strengthen its security institutions and governance and transferred in March 2020 a military barracks can house up to 450 Somali troops, and acts as the military headquarters for the 8th Brigade in South West State.
The UK’s Baidoa Security Training Centre (BSTC) has been operating for one year and has already trained more than 400 soldiers from 8 Brigade in Baidoa, supporting the Somali National Army.