Air advisors train with Niger Armed Forces at AB201
By Staff Sgt. Devin Boyer, 435th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
/ Published July 13, 2019
NIGERIEN AIR BASE 201, Niger --
Air advisors assigned to the 409th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron conducted training with the Nigerien Armed Forces (French language: Forces Armées Nigeriennes) members on how to clear a building July 10.
The training was designed to help the FAN improve their efficiency and security when coming in contact with enemy forces. Additionally, it strengthens the partnership between the FAN and U.S. military.
“What we’re attempting to do here is build interoperability, working further with the coalition, so that way they’re trained and equipped to work collectively with the United States and other armed forces around the world,” said Staff Sgt. George Distel, 409th ESFS air advisor.
Distel, along with other air advisors, shared specific clearing tactics with the FAN members, helping make sure they remain safe in potential engagements. This joint training ensures FAN forces can integrate with U.S. forces should the need ever arise, and also provides the FAN with the tools needed to work independently when they deploy to locations without fellow U.S. forces nearby.
“Once we leave in six months, they’re going to be deployed with the rest of their brothers in arms…to various countries around Niger,” said Tech. Sgt. Tyler Torr, 409th ESFS air advisor.
Niger rests within close proximity to many violent extremist organizations, and now the FAN is better prepared to respond to incidents that may involve one of those organizations.
“A lot of the FAN operations deal with violent extremist organizations,” said Torr. “We’ve narrowed down the skills we feel are necessary for them. We’ve also talked to their leadership to find out what they would like us to train them on, and narrowed it down to the individual skills they need to be successful and to stay alive.”
The training not only helps prepare them for deployed conflict, but it also enables the FAN to secure Nigerien AB 201.
“We started to integrate our patrols on the inside of Air Base 201 about three weeks ago,” said Torr. “Soon we’ll be starting to exercise together.”