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Belgium to provide training support to DRC

Belgium will send 25 members of its Special Operations Regiment to the DRC in the spring to train the African country‘s 31st Rapid Reaction Brigade (photo of Belgian soldier training DRC troops). (Belgian MoD)

Belgium plans to send a military detachment to support the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) by improving the capabilities of its rapid reaction brigade, the Belgian Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced on its website on 15 February.

The DRC made a request in October 2021 for Belgian military support in the areas of land navigation, tactical combat casualty care, and counter-improvised explosive device techniques. Belgium will send 25 members of its Special Operations Regiment to Lwama in Kindu in the spring to train the DRC‘s 31st Rapid Reaction Brigade.

During the first four weeks, the Belgians will train Congolese trainers, followed by eight weeks during which experts from both countries will exchange experiences. The Belgians will also provide intensive coaching to the Congolese with the objective of 31st Brigade trainers being able to provide basic training anywhere in the DRC.

Another Belgian detachment will be sent to DRC in September to coach Congolese trainers training three battalions. Afterwards, the objective is for training to be done entirely by the Congolese, with continued Belgian support.

Also this spring, two senior Belgian officers will be sent to the École de Commandement et d'État-Major (ECEM) command and staff school in Kinshasa, which trains Congolese officers to become battalion and brigade commanders, with the curriculum including civil-military relations and organising medical support for units, supported by exercises. A previous Belgian detachment organised an exercise based on the situation in the border area with Rwanda and Uganda, a scenario which the future detachment will use as a basis.

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