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News | Feb. 7, 2022

Djibouti, U.S. strengthen partnership through medical knowledge exchange

By Tech. Sgt. Lynette Rolen Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa

More than 40 U.S. service members from Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA) and the Djiboutian Gendarmerie came together for a medical knowledge exchange of casualty care practices at the Gendarmerie compound in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Jan. 17- 20, 2022.

The exchange allowed both parties to share their medical practices and tactics, while strengthening bonds between the Gendarmerie and the CJTF-HOA service members.

“The Gendarmerie folks who came to this knowledge exchange were very engaging with their questions and very forthcoming with their own experiences and tactics,” said U.S. Army Reserve Maj. Novneet Sahu, 404th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), Civil Affairs East Africa functional specialty team emergency physician. “I think this is a big win toward fostering a great working relationship with the Gendarmerie and our partners in the area. Altogether, it improves our ability to care for soldiers, law enforcement and citizens.”

Tactical combat casualty care is used by both military and federal law enforcement agencies to treat injuries when in a field environment.

The four-day exchange partnered Civil Affairs Soldiers with the Gendarmerie at their mobile unit and included educational comparisons of base-line tactics and hands-on practical application.

“It’s really a cultivation of what are the best practices for where we are and with whom we’re working,” Sahu added.

Throughout the exchange, the partners shared together their own personal scenarios and experiences conducting casualty care on missions, and implemented advanced techniques and tactics, increasing the value to the simulations conducted during the exchange.

“It was great to see this collegial exchange among folks here,” Sahu said.

The exchange allowed for the Gendarmerie to compare multiple casualty care methods from various partners, according to Gendarmerie Chief Corporal Badria Mohamed Abdillahi. She said the exchange with the U.S. Army Civil Affairs Soldiers gave them different tactics to try from what they have learned previously from French partners and their own methods.

“We have learned a lot of things from them and now we have a bigger bond – we know each other now (more) than before,” she said.

Additionally, the exchange allowed for the Americans and Djiboutians to learn more about one another’s cultures – another benefit to strengthening partnership.

The event was one of three planned knowledge exchanges between the Gendarmerie and the CJTF-HOA dedicated to enhancing medical response capabilities and building partnership between the two organizations.

The Gendarmerie expect to lead future knowledge exchanges through a successful self-sustainment program with talented participants serving as leaders and instructors for peers throughout their units.