United States Ambassador to Zambia Daniel Foote has expressed happiness at the completion of pre-deployment training for the fourth Zambia Battalion ( ZAMBATT 4 ) to deploy to the United Nations MINUSCA peacekeeping operation in Central African Republic ( CAR ) .
Ambassador Foote said the United States is proud to have provided the financial and technical support for all of Zambia’s pre-deployment training to send peacekeepers to CAR, including ZAMBATT 4.
Ambassador Foote disclosed that the total dollar value of U.S. support to Zambia just for this latest training effort is approximately one million U.S. dollars, but the ultimate value of the training and equipment is priceless due to the lives that will be saved and changed for the better through ZAMBATT 4.
He also congratulated President Lungu, Minister of Defense Davies Chama, Army Commander, Lieutenant General Mihova, Air Force Commander Lieutenant General Chimese and all members of Zambia Defense Forces for their continued and “ demonstrated resolve to support the United Nations peacekeeping mission in CAR.”
Ambassador Foote also congratulated all Zambian Defense personnel comprising ZAMBATT 4, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Ngosa on their successful completion of a rigorous and comprehensive nine-week pre-deployment training program.
He said For 930 Zambian service members to prepare to assume responsibility from ZAMBATT 3—in an austere and at times high-threat environment—is no easy task, and one that was successfully executed here at Nanking over the past two months adding that the United States is pleased to be a part of that success.
“For 42 personnel of the Zambian Army and Air Force—you commenced two weeks earlier than the rest of the battalion, during which time you completed a Training-of-Trainers course on 28 United Nations Core Pre-Deployment Training Materials, ”, he said.
“As the men and women of ZAMBATT 4 know, yesterday was the conclusion of the culminating U.S.-funded Field Training Exercise—or FTX—in which you exercised and were tested in the skills and knowledge in which you have been rigorously trained, and in a realistic training environment that could just as well be in northern Central African Republic.”, he further added.
He reminded them that as they are being deployed to CAR in the near future to keep in mind that all U.S.-supported training completed at Nanking is to prepare you to support the United Nations’ MINUSCA mandate which includes the protection of Civilians, Child Protection, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Prevention of Conflict-Related Sexual Violence, and Creation of a secure environment for the immediate, full, safe, and unhindered delivery of humanitarian assistance.
The US Envoy explained that by fulfilling this mandate, they trained officers will be able to return to Zambia proud to have achieved an important mission in a tough environment and equally proud to have built upon the reputation of those who served before them, and who established Zambia as a contributor of a capable, highly respected and proficient peacekeeping force.
He said as he looks beyond ZAMBATT 4, he will similarly be proud to support future U.S. government efforts enabling Zambia Defense Forces to support peace operations within the SADC region or indeed throughout Africa.
‘The United States is building the capacity of our African partners through a number of U.S. Government-funded programs. The Global Peace Operations Initiative is but one of these programs, and has enabled training of ZAMBATT 4 and Zambia’s current and previous MINUSCA battalions.’ he stated.
He commended the Ministry of Defense and Defense Service authorities present for partnering with the United States to build a more secure and prosperous future for the people of Central African Republic, or wherever you may be called upon to serve your nation.