US, South Sudan Service Members Partner during Courses

JUBA, South Sudan (Sept. 7, 2012) - Graduates from a Humanitarian Mine Action Explosive Ordnance Disposal Train-the-Trainer course and their three U.S. Navy instructors pose for a picture at the Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Sept. 7, 2012. Explosive ordnance disposal technicians from U.S. Africa Command partnered with the SPLA to provide the 10-day training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Brown) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Sept. 7, 2012) - Graduates from a Humanitarian Mine Action Explosive Ordnance Disposal Train-the-Trainer course and their three U.S. Navy instructors pose for a picture at the Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Sept. 7, 2012. Explosive ordnance disposal technicians from U.S. Africa Command partnered with the SPLA to provide the 10-day training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Brown)
JUBA, South Sudan (Sept. 7, 2012) - U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis, left, and Petty Officer 3rd Class David Ikuta, right, explosive ordnance disposal technicians assigned to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, pose with Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Maj. John Mabior Arok, a graduate from the Humanitarian Mine Action Explosive Ordnance Disposal Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Sept. 7, 2012. Arok will soon be traveling to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to receive advanced de-mining training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Brown) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Sept. 7, 2012) - U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis, left, and Petty Officer 3rd Class David Ikuta, right, explosive ordnance disposal technicians assigned to Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa, pose with Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Maj. John Mabior Arok, a graduate from the Humanitarian Mine Action Explosive Ordnance Disposal Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Sept. 7, 2012. Arok will soon be traveling to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, to receive advanced de-mining training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Brown)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 22, 2012) - "Terry," a medical training mannequin, waits for care during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 22, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 22, 2012) - "Terry," a medical training mannequin, waits for care during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 22, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 22, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Sgt. John Pouth, provides medical care to another soldier during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 22, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 22, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Sgt. John Pouth, provides medical care to another soldier during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 22, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 23, 2012) - U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Brown, left, an independent duty corpsman assigned to the Expeditionary Medical Facility at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, and Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Cpl. John Maciek, perform a litter carry during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 22, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 23, 2012) - U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Brown, left, an independent duty corpsman assigned to the Expeditionary Medical Facility at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, and Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Cpl. John Maciek, perform a litter carry during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 22, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 23, 2012) - U.S. Air Force Capt. Angela Okroi, U.S. Africa Command physician assistant, partners with Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Soldiers to dress a wound during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 23, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 23, 2012) - U.S. Air Force Capt. Angela Okroi, U.S. Africa Command physician assistant, partners with Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Soldiers to dress a wound during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 23, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 23, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Soldiers practice splinting techniques during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 23, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 23, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Soldiers practice splinting techniques during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 23, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 24, 2012) - U.S. Air Force Capt. Angela Okroi, U.S. Africa Command physician assistant, discusses airway management, with several Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Soldiers during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course lesson at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 24, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 24, 2012) - U.S. Air Force Capt. Angela Okroi, U.S. Africa Command physician assistant, discusses airway management, with several Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Soldiers during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course lesson at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 24, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 24, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Maj. John Mabior Arok, takes notes about splinting techniques during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course lesson at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 24, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 24, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Maj. John Mabior Arok, takes notes about splinting techniques during a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course lesson at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 24, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 24, 2012) - Graduates from a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course pose for a picture with instructors, U.S. Air Force Capt. Angela Okroi, left, and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Brown, right, at the Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 24, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 24, 2012) - Graduates from a Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course pose for a picture with instructors, U.S. Air Force Capt. Angela Okroi, left, and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Brown, right, at the Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 24, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 27, 2012) - U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Brown, an independent duty corpsman assigned to Camp Lemonnier's Expeditionary Medical Facility, poses with Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Sgt. John Pouth, a graduate from the Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 27, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 27, 2012) - U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Robert Brown, an independent duty corpsman assigned to Camp Lemonnier's Expeditionary Medical Facility, poses with Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Sgt. John Pouth, a graduate from the Tactical Casualty Combat Care Medical Training Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 27, 2012. During the three-day course five U.S. Africa Command service members partnered with the SPLA to provide 18 Soldiers with medical training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 27, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Pvt. John Naringinamu, uses a metal detector to search for landmines before providing care to a medical training mannequin during a Humanitarian Mine Action Explosive Ordnance Disposal Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 27, 2012. Three service members from U.S. Africa Command partnered with the SPLA to provide the 10-day training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 27, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Pvt. John Naringinamu, uses a metal detector to search for landmines before providing care to a medical training mannequin during a Humanitarian Mine Action Explosive Ordnance Disposal Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 27, 2012. Three service members from U.S. Africa Command partnered with the SPLA to provide the 10-day training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 29, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Soldiers practice demining techniques during a Humanitarian Mine Action Explosive Ordnance Disposal Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 29, 2012. Three service members from U.S. Africa Command partnered with the SPLA to provide the 10-day training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 29, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Soldiers practice demining techniques during a Humanitarian Mine Action Explosive Ordnance Disposal Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 29, 2012. Three service members from U.S. Africa Command partnered with the SPLA to provide the 10-day training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)
JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 29, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Soldiers prepare to litter carry a medical training maniquen in a downed-man drill during a Humanitarian Mine Action Explosive Ordnance Disposal Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 29, 2012. Three service members from U.S. Africa Command partnered with the SPLA to provide the 10-day training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis) CJTF-HOA Photo JUBA, South Sudan (Aug. 29, 2012) - Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Soldiers prepare to litter carry a medical training maniquen in a downed-man drill during a Humanitarian Mine Action Explosive Ordnance Disposal Train-the-Trainer course at the SPLA Engineer Headquarters in Juba, South Sudan, Aug. 29, 2012. Three service members from U.S. Africa Command partnered with the SPLA to provide the 10-day training. (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis)

Five service members from U.S. Africa Command, or AFRICOM, partnered with the year-old Sudan People's Liberation Army, or SPLA, Aug. 22 to Sept. 7, 2012, to instruct 18 SPLA Soldiers.

This marks the third Humanitarian Mine Action, or HMA, military-to-military training engagement between AFRICOM and the SPLA, during which HMA explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD, and tactical casualty combat care, or TCCC, train-the-trainer courses were held with a simple mission focus.

"We partnered to teach students to be instructors," said U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Lewis, Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa EOD technician.

Although a perishable skill set, according to Lewis, de-mining and TCCC practices are important to the South Sudanese people.

"De-mining is a very simple process. It's mainly paying attention to what you're doing," Lewis said. "Due to their years of war, the armies mined the country. Then the war ended, and people were stepping on land mines. If something does happen, these Soldiers will know what they're doing."

During the three-week partner effort, instructors covered a variety of topics, ranging from open and closed fractures to knot tying to basic ordnance disposal practices; but only after overcoming simple learning obstacles.

"Language was the biggest thing," Lewis said. "But, where language was a barrier, we showed them through hands-on, practical training. Nonverbals cross all language barriers. I was incredibly impressed with the Soldiers' level of retention of the material and their willingness to learn."

Lewis recalled one SPLA Soldier who successfully crossed these barriers.

"Cpl. John Maciek only spoke the tribal language so he couldn't understand anything when we tried to do a test. He would try and draw the answers," Lewis said. "Once someone translated to him, he probably did the best out of everyone."

At the graduation ceremony, the SPLA's ranking Soldier delivered his thanks for the opportunity to share best practices between the U.S. and SPLA.

"I want to extend my deepest thanks to USAFRICOM, the U.S. and its commanders," SPLA Maj. Gen. Kiir Garang De Kuek, Engineer Corps commander. "The SPLA is in their infancy and trips like this are imperative to the growth of our country. Through help from [non-government organizations] we've de-mined a third of the country. Trips like these create the foundation for the country to become prosperous. We hope for a continued partnership with the U.S. to provide advanced training to the SPLA to increase effectiveness."

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