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SD National Guard Soldiers Train in Africa


South Dakota National Guard

Public Affairs Office

Phone: 605-737-6721 Email: ng.sd.sdarng.list.pao@mail.mil Web: https://sdguard.ngb.army.mil  www.facebook.com/SouthDakotaNationalGuard  www.flickr.com/SouthDakotaNationalGuard  https://twitter.com/SD_Guard


April 9, 2014



DOUALA, Cameroon – Five South Dakota Army National Guard members participated in a multinational exercise in Cameroon, Africa, last month to train and build relationships with U.S. military forces and African partner nations.


As members of the 881st Movement Control Team, the Soldiers provided logistics support to the exercise Central Accord 14, March 7 – 21, and were responsible for the management and preparation of cargo and personnel transported aboard aircraft throughout the country.


The two-week exercise included more than 1,500 troops from Cameroon, Chad, Burundi, Nigeria, the Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon and the Netherlands, as well units from all branches of the U.S. military.


“It is important for the National Guard to participate in these international exercises in order to interact with active-duty components and partner nations,” said Lt. Col. Renel Hall-Beck, 881st officer in charge. “It allows us to sustain deployment skills, showcase our talent, stay viable and open a broader focus to sustainment operations.”


The Central Accord exercise allows African militaries that participate in the Multinational Force of Central Africa, or FOMAC, to practice working with U.S. forces in an effort to strengthen defense capabilities and develop crisis response and peacekeeping forces. The goal of the U.S. Africa Command annual exercise is to improve FOMAC’s regional ability to command, control and support forward deployed forces and improve the interoperability of a coalition task force. Exercise participants run through a number of training scenarios which develop their ability to work together.


“It is important to learn from others and other cultures which, in turn, improves and validates our processes and skills,” said Hall-Beck.


The 881st team was assigned to the New York Army National Guard’s 369th Sustainment Brigade and were located in the port city of Douala, which served as a staging area for troops entering the exercise. The 369th, which served as the command element of Combine Joint Task Force Douala, coordinated the movement of troops participating in the exercise and also oversaw the shipment delivery of food, fuel, ammunition and other supplies.


To support the 369th’s mission, the SDNG Soldiers provided their expertise in logistics and aviation operations to help prepare and move troops and supplies to different operating bases. The Soldiers were chosen from several SDNG units for their ability to properly build cargo and prepare it for air transportation, accomplish load plans and to manifest passengers and create passenger listings.


“We successfully moved over 356,000 pounds of cargo and 432 passengers via Air Force C-130 and C-17 aircraft efficiently and effective with no safety issues or loss to property,” said Hall-Beck, who also serves in the SDNG’s Joint Force Headquarters.


“It was a good opportunity for some training and to network with people that do the same thing you do somewhere else – to see different ways of doing things in different countries,” said Staff Sgt. Matthew Day, of Detachment 3, Company A, 641st Aviation Regiment. “It was a worthwhile experience.”


“As a former flight engineer, I never had the opportunity to see how a command team supports mission requests – I just loaded whatever needed to be transported. It was interesting to see how things operate in the larger picture,” said Sgt. Ron Diekman, of Company D, 1-112th Aviation Regiment. “I got to see how missions originate, how things change and how our customer’s make requests.”


Other 881st MCT members included Master Sgt. Kelley Moore of Joint Force Headquarters and Sgt. Dion Brown of Detachment 1, Company B, 1-112th Aviation Regiment.


Hall-Beck said the 881st Soldiers came together from different units to mold into a great team and received accolades from their customers and superiors.


“The members of the team received the admiration of the 173rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) command sergeant major and the chief warrant officer of the parachute riggers team,” said Hall-Beck. “Each member was also personally given a coin for excellence from the deputy brigade commander of the 369th Sustain Brigade.”




High resolution photos are available at www.flikr.com/southdakotanationalguard


FOR MORE INFORMATION: Please contact Maj. Anthony Deiss at (605) 737-6721 or cell (605) 431- 8753, or e-mail ng.sd.sdarng.list.pao@mail.mil