By Watson Maingo
About 45 Malawi Defence Force (MDF) marines and boat crewmen have completed a one month long training organized under the Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) conducted by instructors from the US Navy Seal.
Speaking to journalists after officially closing the training, MDF Chief of Training, Brigadier General George Phiri described the training as important for MDF marines, saying they had acquired special skills to operate on land and water.
“Under the Joint Combined Exchange Training, we have many types of training that we do including redeployment, but this training was special one specifically for the marines,” said Phiri.
“The U.S. operators have trained the MDF Marines on vessel boarding and seizure, infiltration, amphibious operations and urban movement techniques,” said Phiri.
Phiri also expressed gratitude for the support which Malawi gets from the US in areas of training.
“We are always happy that we have cordial relationship with our friends from the US who are always ready to help us in terms of training,” said Phiri.
Brigadier General Phiri further said despite that the country has not been at war, it is important to have such trainings for keeping the forces ready and steady.
“Continuous training helps to keep a credible defence force while making it a deterrence to those that my want to harm us,” said Phiri.
In another interview, Commander of the Maritime Forces, Brigadier General Francis Kakhuta Banda said that training had equipped the Marine Forces with expertise that will enable them to be deployed in any situation requiring such expertise.
Brig. Gen. Banda said combined with the newly acquired warship skills, the marines have the means to be an effective unit.
Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the USA Embassy, Marc Trahan described the relation between his country and MDF as robust.
“Our relation with MDF is good, we have a number of areas of cooperation, including the area of training and HIV AIDS programmes,” said Trahan.
“We have been committed for years and will continue to be committed for years to come as we have interest in building the capacity of the Malawi Defense Force,” he added.
At the end of the training, the 45 marines, three of which are female, received certificates for completion of the course.-MANA