The US army has said a combat brigade will be assigned to the Pentagon’s Africa Command next year in a pilot programme that will send small teams of soldiers to countries around the continent to do training and participate in military exercises.
US marines are already in Uganda offering training and support to Ugandan and African Union soldiers [AFP]
General Ray Odierno, the army’s chief of staff, says the plan is part of a new effort to provide US commanders around the globe with troops on a rotational basis to meet the military needs of their regions. This pilot programme sends troops to an area that has become a greater priority for the Obama administration since it includes several nations from where it perceives an increasing threat to the US and the region.
Odierno says a brigade from the 10th Mountain Division will take on the new task.
Already US special forces have begun providing training and logistical support to Ugandan soldiers hunting Joseph Kony, leader of the Lords Resistance Army. Military advisers are also in Uganda to draw lessons learned from Iraq and Afghanistan to help train African Union soldiers to fight Somalia’s al-Shabab group.