Gunners from RAF Honington provide specialist training to soldiers in Kenya
A team of RAF Regiment Gunners from RAF Honington have started training Kenyan Army personnel ahead of their deployment in Somalia to fight against Al Shabaab.
The training team arrived in Kenya on May 16 and have now began to deliver the specialist training package, which will teach tracking techniques to help counter the threat from improvised explosive devices (IED), which was recognised by the Kenya Defence Forces as a capability gap for the Kenyan army.
Flight Lieutenant Graeme Royston, the team leader, said: “The highest number of Kenyan deaths in the fight against Al Shabaab are due to IEDs. The course begins with the basics of tracking; identifying 'signs' such as enemy footprints or disturbances, analysing it and determining numerous factors such as the age of the sign, how many individuals, the sex, size and health of the enemy."
The course, which is expected to end at the beginning of June, will also teach the students how to track in hostile environments and how to respond when under enemy fire.
The training will culminate in an exercise which will see the Kenyan Army tracking the enemy over many miles and making a capture.
Captain Apunza of the Kenyan Army said: “The difference between the best and the rest is good application of skills gained during training. Combat tracking is an essential skill that every soldier should equip him or herself with in order to win an asymmetric war. In our case, the use of IEDs by Al Shabaab in Somalia”.
The team from RAF Honington is being supported by the British Peace Support Team in Africa.