Two soldiers from Nottingham have been helping to train Ugandan troops in the heat and humidity of East Africa.
Captain Christine Ongoma and Captain James Athow-Frost, were part of a team of thirty, led by the Reservist arm of the 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (4 YORKS).
They spent eleven days, in temperatures of up to thirty-two degrees, training the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) before it runs peacekeeping operations in Somalia.
Twenty-nine year-old James, is a full-time soldier and planned the Uganda trip. Having served in Afghanistan, The Falkland Islands, Malawi, Kenya, the USA and Canada, the experienced serviceman said:
Originally fro Kenya, Captain Ongoma is fluent in Swahili, making her a key part of the 4 YORKS mission. As a nursing officer, she splits her time between working for the Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust (NHT) and serving with 212 Field Hospital.
As part of her role in Uganda, she has been primarily assessing the UPDF’s ability to treat and evacuate injured personnel, but was also part of the team which educated Ugandan soldiers on how to deal respectfully with female civilians and insurgents.
She said they were lovely to work with, adding that:
Based at UPDF Peace Support Training School at Singo, in the south of the country, the pair from Nottingham were part of a British Army team which helped to school a 1,900 strong Ugandan Battlegroup.
They tested their guests in a range of counter-insurgency techniques before giving them their final exam – an intensive, three day exercise designed to test their new skills to the limit.