British troops are training Ghanaian soldiers on fighting in built up area (FIBUA) to enhance their capacity to tackle threats from violent extremist organisations.
British Peace Support Team Africa – BPST(A) soldiers delivered the tactical and conceptual training last month to their Ghanaian counterparts in support of regional stability.
On the Ghanaian side, soldiers were pulled from the Army’s 64th Infantry Battalion and 69th Airborne Force, which are mandated to provide a national security role in Ghana, and wish to expand their capabilities as an expeditionary Task Force.
A British Army Team Commander said: “As a training team, our overall role is partner-focused capacity building; to provide stability and protection against the emergence of future security threats. The aspiration is that by developing the skills, abilities and processes of one Partner Force, they will become a credible organisation through which capacity development can be passed on to neighbouring countries, having a greater overall effect within a particular region.”
“Our relationship with the Partner Force is the keystone to our role; we must understand what they want us to do and why. Having that clear, empathetic approach and being personable gains trust, resulting in mission success”.
The training which lasted for four weeks focused on stability operations within an urban environment and included both tactical and conceptual components.
The Ghanaian troops were divided into two components; a command planning team and a tactical team.
The command planning team were tested on their use of the Combat Estimate planning process to solve a series of complex problems, with a focus on developing their capacity in planning urban security operations.
While the tactical team took part in progressive urban operations training including building entry, room clearance, ladder drills and urban platoon attacks.
According to the BPST(A) contingent, COVID-19 measures were carefully put in place to ensure a safe training environment.
Face coverings were worn inside buildings and outside when individuals were within 2m of each other. Additionally, all training staff and exercising troops conducted COVID antigen tests at the start of each week prior to training.
A training Junior NCO reported: “It’s been fantastic working alongside the Ghanaians. They are hungry to learn new things, are always wanting more and are always asking why. The Ghanaian troops are a fantastic bunch of soldiers and it has been great to see the camaraderie and humour that they bring every day”.
During the final week training culminated in an exercise which encompassed a complicated counter-terrorism scenario. The planning team designed and coordinated a dawn raid, which was delivered to the tactical team for execution on the ground. The operation proved an effective way to showcase the skills and experience gained by the Ghanaian Army’s 64th Infantry Battalion and 69th Airborne Force under the British Army’s training package.
For years, Britain has committed a sizeable number of its troops into training and advising African countries. In March 2020, over 400 Somalian National Army (SNA) soldiers were trained in over 12 months forming the country’s first infantry battalion.
The infantry training began in January 2019, with the new Baidoa Security Training Centre being completed in the following month. A much needed command and staff training was provided to the country’s 8th Brigade in Mogadishu.
Also, in 2019 Ugandan People Defence Force received training from British Royal Marines on maritime operations.
Based in Entebbe, the 1 Assault Group Marines (1AGRM) of the British Royal Marines have been teaching the Ugandan forces how to conduct amphibious assault operations, including assaulting beaches, and boarding and searching vessels.