General Ham, acting Commander of United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) testified before the United States House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, 05 April 2011, in a special session on U.S. Military Logistics and African Operations regarding United States Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) and AFRICOM budget requests. During the proceedings, General Ham commented on the U.S. role in providing professionalization training to soldiers in the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC). General Ham stated:
“We have trained a battalion and we think that one battalion will perform pretty well. But we think there’s more we can and should be doing to help Congo become a more professional military force, support the civil control and responding under international norms. But initial indications are pretty good, I think, but still certainly some work to be done.”
In the posture statement submitted to the Armed Services Committee prior to testimony, AFRICOM also cited efforts in D.R. Congo.
“The lingering effects of the DRC conflict remain the primary challenge to peace and stability to the [Central Africa] region. As part of the effort to help the DRC establish the rule of law and legitimate institutions, U.S. Africa Command has been working with other U.S. agencies and international partners to improve the Congolese military’s ability to serve its citizens. Specific examples of U.S. government efforts include strengthening the military justice system, improving training capacity, developing agriculture projects designed to reduce military personnel dependency on local populations, and improving indigenous training capacity.”
Shout out to Kisangani, Whoop!