Djiboutian Armed Forces and U.S. service members exchanged communications best practices in Djibouti, Djibouti, January 24 to 30, 2012.
The FAD invited the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa tactical communications team to the FAD headquarter’s deck. There, the U.S. team met with Djiboutian radio communications specialists from around the country to share expertise in new American-made radio operating systems.
« This is an opportunity to increase the knowledge of our operators, » said FAD Major Daher Meraneh, Djiboutian Army chief of communications. « We have some materials originally from the U.S. and the U.S. instructors from Camp Lemonnier. They know more about the materials, so we want to take some of the experience from them. »
Meraneh added that the Djiboutian service members who participated in this exchange will be able to show the rest of the Djiboutian Army how the new equipment works.
« The knowledge exchanged today will be an effective tool for the men to take back to teach other Djiboutian service members advanced radio communication operations and tactical application, » said U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Joshua Mackay, CJTF-HOA tactical communications team radio frequency transmission systems operator and a native of Denver, Colorado.
« We are focused on advanced radio communication while implementing some field exercises and basic field infantry skills, » said U.S. Marine Corporal Tiffany Kim, CJTF-HOA tactical communications team field radio operator, mission commander and a native of Caledonia, Mich.
« They got pretty excited about implementing the skills learned in the practical war zone tactics–things like why we would use the radios in this situation and how we would use them, » she added.
According to Kim, the Djiboutian service members moved through the information very quickly.
The Djiboutian soldiers already knew how to do advanced radio skills. The team was two days into the exchange and they were already 90 percent through the curriculum, Kim said. Because of their high level of skill, Kim mentioned they adjusted the course so they could move right into the subject of field expediency antennas.
« If their antenna breaks they can use the materials available to them. They could use a tree, a bush or a flag pole and hoist a makeshift conductive antenna. It could be very useful in the future, » she explained.
U.S. service members demonstrated procedures American personnel use to report enemies and medical evacuations. « Those are the two things that you are always going to use while in combat, » said Kim.
Both Djiboutian and U.S. service members agree communications is integral to military operations.
« With anything you do, the key is communication. Even if you are doing the necessary tactical movements and you don’t communicate what you are doing, then you won’t be successful, » she said.
By Senior Airman Lael Huss
CJTF-HOA Public Affairs