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RG soldiers mentor Gambian troops

Captain Grant Smith and WO1 (RSM) Chris Canepa from the Gibraltar Regiment recently returned from a successful deployment to the Gambia in a bid to mentor the Gambian Armed Forces during pre-deployment training.

The RG soldiers were able to tap into their extensive operational experience, preparing the GAF troops for deployment to South Sudan and ensuring the training package remains relevant for the deployment.

The men deployed for five weeks and mentored soldiers in a number of areas including the delivery of laws of armed conflict, base security, mobile patrols and first aid.

Captain Smith said: “The training package is focused on Peace Support Operations, this is something that the GAF do particularly well.”

“They have a good reputation within the different components of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), and this is in no small part due to the effort they spend preparing their troops for the deployments.”

“I have been here on a number of occasions and it is greatly satisfying to see how their teaching and testing techniques have evolved during the UK’s engagement with them,” he added.

The RG has developed a great professional relationship with the GAF over the past decade, with a number of previous deployments of varying size and composition.

The GAF is a small but very keen force comprising of three battalions.

It has a very rich history of operational tours, with the majority of troops having taken part in the UNAMID mission.

Training culminated in a five-day Forward Operating Base exercise where the GAMCOY troops were tested with scenarios based on what they had been taught during their time in the school.

WO1 (RSM) Canepa said: “It is always professionally satisfying to see the troops conducting FOB operations at the end of the package and tying all of what they have learned in a demanding environment.”

“I especially enjoy seeing individuals who have the discipline to get through tough times and maintaining their self-discipline, this is something that the British Army is good at, and rightly proud of,” he added.

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