Troops from Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment shared key military skills with Somali National Army soldiers to help them conduct effective security operations.

The British Army say in a news release that has trained its 500th Somali soldier in the essential infantry skills they need to combat armed groups and ensure security and stability in the country. The latest batch of 113 troops marked the end of their training with a ceremony in Baidoa, Somalia on 31 December.

“The eight-week Company Collective Training course is designed to prepare officers and soldiers from the Somali National Army (SNA) to conduct security operations in the country’s South West State, countering the threat from Al-Shabaab and other jihadist and criminal organisations. The 26-man British training team from 2nd Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment taught students skills including marksmanship, patrolling, medical aid and counter improvised explosive device (IED) techniques.

On completion of the course, soldiers were provided with uniforms and equipment which, when combined with their training, will allow them to operate much more effectively. The contingent are the fifth Somali company trained by Britain since the course was rolled out in the country in September 2019. The UK has also provided the SNA with military vehicles to support security operations and a new barracks in Baidoa that can accommodate 450 troops.”

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said:

“This milestone shows Britain’s ongoing commitment to help Somalia provide security and stability for its people, while combating terrorist groups that threaten the UK’s interests at home and abroad.

The United Kingdom and our Armed Forces will continue to support Somalia, with plans to double the number of troops trained under this scheme in 2021.”

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Airborne
Airborne
8 months ago

Once again BATT is on going and essential. Probably not called BATTs anymore, but essential part of soft power, which can lead directly to hard power and influence. Did a bit of work in puntland a while ago, with the PSF. Not to bad organisation and a good indicator of the standards which can be reached by the Somali forces. ThePuntland Maritime force are also quite good. However the problem you will always face is the loyalty of the Seniors and Officers, as allegiances are more family and tribal orientated, which is a problem for central Government. However that aside,… Read more »

Damo
Damo
8 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Exactly. We are good at this stuff. Forget that Sandhurst had trained 10% of Saddam’s senior officers as that was the exception. We do this skilling and training well. Think about how we feel about the lance jack who looked after us and taught us how to sort our shit out. Loyalty, respect a bit of thanks… yeah maybe a bit of fear too…

farouk
farouk
8 months ago
Reply to  Damo

Dano wrote:

We are good at this stuff. Forget that Sandhurst had trained 10% of Saddam’s senior officers as that was the exception. 

Dano,
The total number of Iraqi officers trained by the British (after Saddam took power on the 16th July 1979) until they cut links with Iraq in 1988 was the grand total of 28. The link below will take you to a FOI reply asking the question how many Iraqis were trained in the UK period:
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/530766/Army_FOI_2016_77154___Number_of_Iraqi_cadets_trained_in_Britain_from_1992_to_1988_plus_5_Iraqi_officers_staff_training_1970_and_1980.pdf

farouk
farouk
8 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Airborne wrote:

However that aside, pay them a decent wage, decent living standards and give them a career and you are more likely to achieve standards similar to PSF lads.

The UAE did just that, until some in the Somali government decided that they could get very rich very quickly by intercepting a huge wodge of money ($10 million) meant to pay troops the UAE was training. They stole the money and the UAE simply upped sticks and left.
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-emirates-somalia-military-idUSKBN1HM0Y5

Airborne
Airborne
8 months ago
Reply to  farouk

Corruption does seem to be the default setting in the region however mate.

James
James
8 months ago
Reply to  farouk

The UAE undermined the Somalia government and sovereignty as their trained troops were nothing more than a UAE controlled militia that took orders from a foreign state. The 10 million was cash destined for Al Shabab terrorist seized by Somali security forces at the airport. 10 million in cash in a airport from a chartered flight ✈️? Even the US or the UK cried not over that .That pretty much says it all. The UAE was expelled and ever since sponsored terror attacks there .

geoff
geoff
8 months ago

The modern state of Somalia consists of the former Italian and British Somaliland.The former British sector is the de facto Republic of Somalia, a properly functioning democracy recognised by no one, but the rest of the country, Somalia, is a total mess albeit having improved of late. We should be helping and recognising our former protectorate yet we pour our aid into the faction ridden wild west-why? Surely the Italians should be leading the attempts at rehabilitation there?
Funny old world.

John Clark
John Clark
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

It’s certainly a great example of the quiet work our military training teams carry out all over the world on a daily basis.

Often overlooked vital work, thanks for posting Lisa.

Airborne
Airborne
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Totally agree but it’s also a little more to do with also getting Somali forces to disrupt Al-shabaab operations towards Kenya. Agree about Somaliland, not internationally recognised as of yet, but very similar to Puntland in its relative success since it claimed it’s autonomy in 1991.

geoff
geoff
8 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

You’ve had some interesting experiences Airborne! In the broader context the British Army’s work here and elsewhere is something we should be proud of. Unfortunately as you say, in Africa it is difficult to instill into the Armed Forces some page one concepts-i.e. the Army is to remain a neutral force to serve all the people, the Army is not a 9 to 5 job. Here in SA as with much of the Public Centre there is a Trade Union culture which affects discipline in some sectors. The British in Africa created some of the finest and smartest soldiers in… Read more »

Clive Scott
Clive Scott
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

During the second world war my father in law was a senior nco in the East African Rifles, the Kenyan Regiment serving in Burma. After the war, he was a civil servant for the Kenyan government but unfortunately was made redundant by the Kenyans when they got independence. He then was employed by the Commonwealth Development Council, setting up agricultural projects to the former African colonies. He always said, that Africa has so much potential economically, but is hindered by corruption

Nicholas Wood
Nicholas Wood
8 months ago
Reply to  Clive Scott

I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and have been going back a number of times over the years since my parents left to go to Toronto, Canada in 1966. My father did not see much of a future for us there even though he was pro Kenyan independence. Corruption has become a way of life in Kenya and most of Africa and likely to remain so for generations. A big threat to Kenya is the Somalia based Al Shabab should they take over in Somalia. I was last in Kenya in 2018 and noticed the increased security against any more… Read more »

geoff
geoff
8 months ago
Reply to  Nicholas Wood

Interesting post Nicholas. We left the then Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in late 1963 on a two day train journey through Bechuanaland via Mafeking, Joburg and finishing in Durban where we settled. The train was full of ‘escapees’ from Kenya and the Federation as the Empire was shutting up shop.Natal was still a very British influenced Province having been the only Province to vote overwhelmingly against the new Republic. When the Queen came on the screen at cinemas in the Movietone news, everybody clapped loudly 🙂

geoff
geoff
8 months ago
Reply to  Clive Scott

Your Father in Laws assesment was spot on Clive

Airborne
Airborne
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

I’ve been lucky Geoff, having the opportunity to travel and work in some crazy locations with equally crazy people ?. Many people may not agree but for many African nations, gaining their Independance, may have gave them a feel good feeling but for most, economic disaster.

geoff
geoff
8 months ago
Reply to  Airborne

Morning Airborne. I try to be objective and not make blanket generalisations but it would seem that leaders in Africa are just incapable of observing page one. The Independence ‘good feeling’ was very short lived for the bulk of the population. Here in South Africa we had almost a decade of incompetence and looting that has brought this once shining star of Africa to its knees! This is not the forum so forgive me George for abusing your hospitality. On subject(sort of)some titbits-the British Army made their last foray into southern Africa in the late 60’s when British soldiers disembarked… Read more »

James
James
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

Somalia was the longest fought war in Africa by the British Empire and lasted until the end of world war one. They simultaneously fought the British in the north , the Italians in the south and French in the north East and Ethiopians to the west, and it was the first battle in History when airplanes were used to bomb a country by the RAF forcing the Somali Dervish State to retreat ending in a treaty. In 1960 British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland unified creating the Somali Republic . French Somaliland ( Djibouti ) gained independence later but never joined… Read more »

geoff
geoff
8 months ago
Reply to  James

Thanks James. As with much of the colonisation process, no account was taken of tribal and ethnic setups in drawing arbitrary lines to create artificial states based most often on conflicts between the colonisers!

dan
dan
8 months ago

Let’s hope they fight better than the Afghan National army guys. lol

Damo
Damo
8 months ago
Reply to  dan

Always with a dig….

James
James
8 months ago
Reply to  dan

Somalis are known as fearless fighters going back to the 15 century when they navaly defeated the Portuguese invaders and gave the Britain a headache during the imperial times the Dervish State. The one thing they don’t do is historically is backstab foreign allies and friends as it’s seen in their culture as dishonour and weak. In the middle East it’s normal backstabbing allies and friends

This interesting new YouTube clip of Anglo war against the Dervish state I saw recently very rare

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4xUlReQQy3o

James
James
8 months ago

Somalia was most powerful influential country in Africa before it’s civil war in 1991 when the cold war came to an end it collapsed like many states of that era. It waa the first democracy in Africa after independence in 1960 and women could vote there before women could vote in Switzerland and had the first female fighter pilot. It was a designate place for the US space shuttle to land there in an emergency and hosted the Star wars training camps . The Soviets trained the Somalia military with tens of thousands officers trained there transforming it to most… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by James
Branaboy
Branaboy
8 months ago
Reply to  James

I am a little amused to read your lengthy write up on Somalia without mention of the composition of the primary peacekeepers, miltary support and trainers to the the Somalia National Army. Here I am referring to the African Union force ANISOM that has been in Somalia for the last 15 or so years (since 2007 to be precise) clearing Al Shabab from the major cities. Primary contributors to this peacekeeping and fighting of Al Shabab are Uganda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Kenya.

James
James
8 months ago
Reply to  Branaboy

AMISOM are a cash cow for African states involved in it. They are there for over a decade earning 2000USD a month per soldier while Somali soldiers on the frontline earned 100 a month with little protective gear. If those billions were spend on Somali forces rather foreign troops milking EU and US money they long ago would have restored security across the country. The current Somali government is rebuilding forces and has build 25k troops increased wages to 350 a month and have taken over much of security opening roads rebuilding increasing trade. Every Somali expert or citizens I… Read more »

geoff
geoff
8 months ago
Reply to  James

I think many would disagree with you about Somalia being the most powerful and influential country in Africa at that time James. South Africa for one might have claimed that title at least in part. For me an iconic photograph captured the essence of the African story-a beauthiful road side cafe in an immaculate Mogadishu with patrons sipping coffee. It could have been taken in Europe. Compare to the time of ‘Black Hawk Down’ and weep. The story of much of this continent unfortunately. Former colonies handed back to the majority as thriving functioning self supporting states reduced to ruins… Read more »

Graham
Graham
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

So true that so many former British colonies, especially those in Africa, deteriorated badly – or worse. Better not tell that to the ‘woke’ intelligentsia. They choose only to denounce the British Empire. When serving in Sierra Leone in 2002-3, I saw for myself how that country had failed totally since Independence.

geoff
geoff
8 months ago
Reply to  Graham

The Sierra Leone government actually approached the UK with a request for the British to come back and take over the administration of the country!! That would not have gone down well with the Wokes Graham 🙂 Your service there was after the famous rescue mission?

James
James
8 months ago
Reply to  geoff

South Africa was under apartheid and Somalia was one of few countries that directly helped South African liberations and trained their resistance movement . It helped many countries gaine independence. Somalia build Burundi Air Force, Protected Tanzania and Uganda border , Flew and trained Zambia Air Force, defended Mozambique from the Portuguese, supported Eritrea Independence, Sent troops to Angola , sent Medics to Equatorial Guinea, supported Egypt with naval logistics , supported Djibouti independence movement, supported Zimbabwe and Namibia against apartheid forces. Those are all historical facts that no other African state including South Africa can claim at the time… Read more »

geoff
geoff
8 months ago
Reply to  James

James-well done for an excellent and well researched set of posts. I am no apologist for Apartheid but South Africa before 1994 was Africa’s powerhouse-in military, industrial, commercial and infrastructure terms. Somalia may have been what you described but it suffered a spectacular collapse becoming the worlds only and most prominent failed state. In addition, all of the states with the possible exception of Namibia that you mention received aid from Somalia have sunk to the bottom of the heap in almost every measure with the once wealthy and first world Rhodesia/Zimbabwe now at the bottom of almost every list… Read more »