Preparing for the next battalion: Lessons learned in peacekeeping training

BH1 Beletweyen 2012 10 Flood Rescue

A majority of all United Nations peacekeeping missions are in Africa. It is unlikely that in the next decade or two that this will decrease, and the likelihood of an AFRICA OSC being approached to assist in their partner nations efforts to contribute to a UN peacekeeping mission is highly probable. A mon avis, the first program after IMET you should know is GPOI/PKO. This blog will not go into programmatic education of the GPOI/PKO fund for two reasons: 1) the author is aware of the programs, but not as insightful as I use to be, and 2) PKO is so easy to do that honestly I find it good for a new Africa OSC to work with their colleagues and have some discovery learning.

Below is a realistic synopsis of several peacekeeping efforts and struggles from the beginning of their decisions to their current situation. I have merged several problematic issues into one long story to show our AFRICA OSCs hopefully any and all obstacles they may encounter when working with their partner nation to use USG peacekeeping funding.

I have focused on problems here that an Africa OSC may encounter, only to ensure you are prepared to deal with them, not necessarily to have an overall negative tone to peacekeeping. Overall, the experiences we have had with supporting our partners in peacekeeping have been overly positive and overly successful. As with every program an AFRICA OSC executes – partner nation buy-in and support is key. When those two are not present then you begin to experience the below story.

For those interested in going beyond their peers in knowledge and understanding peacekeeping operations the following site and handouts provide a lot of valuable information:

1) https://www.peaceopstraining.org/courses/
2) http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/documents/UNIBAM.Vol.I.pdf
3) http://dag.un.org/bitstream/handle/11176/387396/United%20Nations%20Peacekeeping%20Missions%20Military%20Transport%20Unit%20Manual.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Lastly,  I’ve written the following synopsis of one country’s peacekeeping experience in a way that is difficult to follow, and I’m glad it is. I purposefully wrote it this way to ensure you understand that in some countries it may be difficult assisting them as they navigate the United Nations peacekeeping system. For some African nations the requirements to regularly man, equip, train, and deploy forces is something they have never done before; and rarely have they done on a rotational basis. At first, they may be hesitant to allow the Africa OSC to observe this dysfunction for fear of losing your support. You must work through this and execute the seven functions of an OSC, which will allow you to provide our partner nations the military support they need. As you go through this system and cycles, read the following articles first:

1) https://africacenter.org/spotlight/evolution-african-peacekeeping/
2) https://africacenter.org/spotlight/africa-and-the-peacekeeping-summit/
3) https://www.africom.mil/media-room/article/11141/african-experts-discuss-current-future-trends-in-african-peacekeeping
4) https://africacenter.org/security-article/rentier-peacekeeping-neo-patrimonial-systems-examples-burundi-kenya/

If you don’t read anything in this blog or the other links I’ve sent – please read this one by a Silverback: https://africacenter.org/publication/creating-sustainable-peacekeeping-capability-in-africa/

**Note: none of the below dates or numbers are correct and have been purposefully changed to mask any notation to any partner nation. “The Government” refers to the deploying countries government officials, military officials, and peacekeeping forces.

Summary

For the past year, the AFRICA OSC requested the training start date and training requirements for the next peacekeeping battalion from the Chief of Defense (CHoD). However, he continues to avoid providing any information about the future training of the next battalion, which would relieve the first battalion that deployed over a year ago. Previously, the CHoD expressed concerns that he wanted to wait until the second battalion fully deployed and was secured in their bases. Then a few months later he expressed concerns about the present refugee situation in a neighboring country and wanted to wait until things calmed down because his forces were on alert. As experienced over the past six months, he now blatantly ignores questions concerning the next training cycle for the next battalion. Internal and external concerns over low morale within the deployed battalion, after two and a half years in country; other senior leaders complaining to the AFRICA OSC; and previous rumors of a deployment to other UN peacekeeping missions continue to blur the actual status of the next rotation to Mission X. With all this turmoil the AFRICA OSC cannot effectively analyze the requirements, develop the proposals, and request funding.

Know the background: Four main issues

The first deployment of a battalion size unit – Is their leadership overwhelmed?

In 2000, they committed to deploying its first ever battalion-sized peacekeeping force of 881 Soldiers. The size of this commitment at the time equated to over 10% of their active military forces. Their military commanders did not agree with the President’s commitment, due to the lack of trained and adequately equipped troops to conduct such a mission. From 2001 to 2013 they struggled to deploy two battalions, which each eventually grew to 1000 and 1300 in size, for a total 2300 authorized strength. The military leadership perceived the U.S. government’s commitment to training and equipping them as an opportunity to modernize their forces significantly. For four years, this overestimation caused a significant tit for tat in the relationship between the AFRICA OSC and them. A perception of broken promises permeated during every meeting, with consistent reminders of what one general or another; or previous SDO/DATT or OSC promised them.

An analysis of the training and deployment of Battalion #1 and #2 identifies the following trends. First, for each battalion, they contribute to Mission X they must first recruit 800+ new soldiers. Recruiting new soldiers requires a Presidential Decree, which normally requires four to six months to execute. Their basic training systems are not designed to absorb such a large surge of forces due to 100 to 400 forces per year being the norm. Second, their budget is not large enough to quickly man and equip such a large force. Third, due to such a large influx, the general’s staff is not prepared or manned to prepare a plan to train up, equip, and rotate replacement forces on this scale. Therefore, recruiting, training, and deploying one battalion requires at minimum twelve months; however, they have requested assistance in two months.

Their government does not have a system established in order to adequately conduct the future planning required for this type of rotation cycle. Until a rotation system is established, AFRICA OSCs will be required to be flexible in planning and executing support for future contributions to peacekeeping. During the past two training cycles, the military continuously refused to answer broad planning questions, only to finally request a significant change of dates and plans a few days before the main training event was to occur. Recent notes from the third in command of the military stated the military is now looking at training and deploying a company at a time, versus an entire battalion; which normally is not authorized under the United Nations program.

Overall, even with all these obstacles, during previous operations, the military forces excelled in their locations. The battalion’s leaders and soldiers have proven time over time their dedication to ensuring they contribute to assisting in re-establishing the government’s control in Mission X. What they lack in size, depth of leadership, and firepower they easily overcome with their ability to associate with the people due to their cultural connections.

History of peacekeeping training in Country X

2000 – The Commitment:

In 2000, The President requested assistance in training and equipping its first battalion-size peacekeeping unit as part of Mission X. Previously, they deployed a company size unit to Country XX in 1985 and regularly contributes 41 military and police observers a year and one Formed Police Unit (FPU) to other United Nation missions. However, they have never contributed a force greater than 120 Soldiers. It is assessed that the President observed the 1995 success of the military’s training an entire Country XXX National Army Battalion and believes his military should contribute to stabilizing the new threat from Terrorist X.

Military Leadership Digresses:

The military leadership was adamantly against the size of this new commitment by their President for three primary reasons. First, deploying an 881 troop peacekeeping unit, at the time, constituted ten percent of their active military forces. Second, the military was recovering from a recent border conflict and subsequent war where they lost several killed in action and numerous prisoners of war. This country continues to be their number one threat, and a majority of their forces have the task of defending future aggression from their neighbor. Lastly, the age and wear of their military’s equipment have left the military without the capabilities to conduct full-scale battalion-sized operations. The military’s lack of capabilities was primarily due to a previous civil war and limited security cooperation efforts from other partner nations. The Chief of Defense at the time was of the mind that the military was not ready for this mission. Several months of back-and-forth internal negotiations between the President and CHoD created a strange internal friction and resistance to the entire deployment.

There are numerous other reasons why the military did not want to deploy. Communication was an issue both from the standpoint that English (or insert French because 20%+ of UN missions in Africa are in Francophone countries) is Mission X’s operational language to the tactical issue of not having sufficient radios and communications gear. The President insisted that they would deploy with a wet lease, which means they would provide all tactical equipment and pay for consumables (such as fuel and ammo) in Mission X. Finally, there were force protection concerns by some parts of the government officials. There were concerns that deploying this battalion could risk domestic terrorism. However, even with all these objections, the President ordered his Chief of Defense to continue with the commitment and deploy a battalion to Mission X.

2001 – Building a Peacekeeping Program

The first peacekeeping battalion was created primarily from the country’s parachutist infantry battalion (PIB) One. PIB One was one of three such units created and designed after 1998 with an expeditionary force to respond rapidly to a bordering neighbor’s threats. The battalions were highly trained and funded in comparison to the rest of the military. For example, PIB Two was sent to another country in 1999 and trained as an entire battalion. All three battalions also contained light, mechanized, and motorized infantry capabilities. However, by 2000 the PIB’s had not reached full strength due to an ambitious development and manning concept, but more specifically due to a lack of rapid expansion ability by the country’s military. For this reason, PIB One, which was at full strength, was chosen to convert into a UN Battalion and deploy. It was the best trained, manned, and equipped of all their units.

Training Strategy Conference: The PKO Regional Manager conducted a Training Strategy Conference at the beginning of 2000. At the conference, the country requested: pre-deployment training for an 881-troop UN battalion; the construction of a national peacekeeping training center at a to-be-determined site; individual soldier equipment for the Battalion; and deployment equipment to be provided to the battalion upon arrival in Mission X.

Mission Uncertainty: In January 2000, the Government pledged to deploy a battalion of “mechanized infantry” to by January 2001. Since 2000, their aspiration for the size and mission of their contingent changed numerous times. For example, they changed from an 881-troop infantry battalion to a 150-troop infantry company to two 250-troop infantry companies. They sent three successive reconnaissance teams to Mission X and negotiated with the UN and other donors about their contribution.

They pledged to be ready to train as early as September 2000 and deploy in January 2001. The AFRICA OSC pledged to consider providing the pre-deployment training, building a rudimentary tented troop accommodation facility at the national peacekeeping training center, and providing the individual soldier equipment, contingent on USG approval. In February 2000, the AFRICA OSC was directed to move forward with the plan to train the initial battalion, provide individual equipment for 881 troops and build a temporary accommodation facility.

Memorandum of Understanding: The Government provided a draft Memorandum of Understanding to the USG in April 2000. The Memorandum of Understanding addressed the country’s pledge for deploying an 881-troop battalion. In exchange for deploying this unit, the USG would provide pre-deployment training, construction of a peacekeeping training facility, and provision of both individual and deployment equipment. The Memorandum of Understanding remained in draft form for several years. Nonetheless, the USG delivered the training, requisitioned the individual troop equipment and proceeded to build an accommodation facility.

Deployment Equipment Standoff: The Government and USG engaged in an exchange of wildly divergent concepts of deployment equipment for the contingent. All the while the AFRICA OSC proceeded to plan pre-deployment training, requisition the individual soldier equipment and plan to build the accommodation facility. In May 2000, the Government submitted its first equipment list, valued at $58M. In July 2000, the USG countered with a $13.8M equipment list (modeled after similar equipment provided for other partner nations).

2001 – PKO Training #1 – PIB One:

As promised, the AFRICA OSC provided pre-deployment UN training for the Governments troops during the period of September 2000 to March 2001. The training was the full Enhanced UN Package and included the Command and Staff Operations Skills Training;  Soldier Skills Training; Non-Commissioned Officer and Company Grade Officer Training; Mortar Training; and PSO Mechanized Training. It also included Tactical Combat Casualty Care Training; Combat Life Saver Training; Enhanced Marksmanship Training and a specially designed four-week Combat Engineer Company training. A twist in the dialog occurred in January 2001 when the Government offered to deploy a UN company, instead of a battalion. However, they still insisted the company receive the $13.8M of equipment offered by the USG for a battalion. The USG did not seriously entertain the offer. While the AFRICA OSC designed the training for a battalion of 881 troops, the Government never provided more than 300 trainees, despite vigorous attempts by the USG training team to promote a larger training audience.

In April 2001, the Government asked the AFRICA OSC if he planned to conduct training in May 2001 for the second part of the battalion. The USG’s policy at the time was training would only resume after the Government deployed its initial contingent. Furthermore, training would resume no earlier than 90 days before the second contingent was definitively scheduled to deploy.

Peacekeeping Training Camp:

The AFRICA OSC contracted training for PIB One through an American contractor. This contract consisted of peacekeeping training, basic soldier equipment, and the construction of a peacekeeping training area in order to prepare PIB One for its deployment. The AFRICA OSC requested to locate the training center in a specific city; however, over USG objections, the Government chose a desolate desert site, near its northern border area. The Government insisted on locating the camp there, primarily because the CHoD was born in the city. The AFRICA OSC’s main concern about the location of the camp was the proximity to the northern border (1000 meters) and potential sewage problems due to the low level of the water table. The AFRICA OSC eventually agreed to support the plan, with reservations.

The USG constructed the training center consisting of one main building with a kitchen, storage room, and two covered outside classroom areas; three showers and three latrines; a water storage area; a MOUT training area; and a perimeter fence. The construction commenced in August 2000 and was completed by September 2001. Construction of the camp continued while the first training event from September 2000 to March 2001 occurred at the same time. Overall, the USG paid $1,395,315 for the camp, including construction, tents, and other camp equipment.

Deployment #1 – PIB One:

The first contingent of 300 trained Soldiers never deployed as requested for numerous reasons. First, by completion of the first phase of 300 Soldiers in March 2001, the Government had not completely manned a full battalion as promised. Second, the Government continued to negotiate with the United Nations on a memorandum of understanding. Without this agreement, they did not have access to the strategic lift required to move such a large group. Lastly, they continued to request significant levels of equipment assistance from numerous partner nations, of which, few assisted them at the level they requested.

Therefore, as negotiations continued from March to September 2001, the 300 recently trained soldiers waited to deploy. As the summer months approached the “battalion” was perceived to dissolve back into the military, even as construction completed on the peacekeeping training area in September. This initial training cost of $1,045,480 for training the initial battalion, and resulted in zero soldiers deploying to Mission X.

October 2001 – Peacekeeping Training #2 – PBI One:

Over the summer of 2001, the AFRICA OSC and the Government continued to negotiate for equipment and training for the “second” portion of the battalion. Eventually on October 2001, at the peacekeeping training camp, the AFRICA OSC began a nine-week training program for the again newly formed battalion. The unit included male and female soldiers with a variety of skill sets, as well as Gendarmes, civilian police officers, and an attached group of 100 military trainers. All of these forces would work to build the security capabilities of Mission X. The USG program in conjunction with Africa Peacekeeping Program (AFRICAP) provided $4,779,979 to train and $3,226,806 to equip PIB One. In the meantime, the Government approached three other nations separately for support to train and equip their forces, as well as deploy them. One country transferred 50 used armored vehicles, and another supported with individual equipment and troop transport vehicles.

The AFRICA OSC was under orders from the USG not to transfer the majority of equipment until the Government signed the Memorandum of Understanding. These orders were due to the failure to deploy by the previous battalion. These orders caused numerous issues for the AFRICA OSC, primarily because the Government accused the AFRICA OSC of having bad faith with them. This situation further complicated the relationship as the Government could not train with the equipment the AFRICA OSC ordered for them. Instead, they trained on other equipment. The AFRICA OSC finally transferred the equipment before the battalion deployed as the final training date approached. However, the Government insisted they didn’t need it and didn’t need or want the AFRICA OSC assistance, after all.

December 2001 – Deployment #2 – PIB One:

In December 2001 the battalion completed training and was prepared to deploy. However, negotiations between the Government and the United Nations to solidify a Memorandum of Agreement were still stalled. The USG speculated that this is the reason a UN aircraft arrived in for the deployment as planned; however, the whole battalion was not present to deploy. The plane sat on the tarmac for 24 hours then departed with only the 100 designated advanced party. The United Nations financed the plane, and this episode began the long and tenuous relationship between the two parties.

2002 – The official breakdown in the relationship

After the small contingent of the Government’s troops arrived, they refused to deploy outside the airport to their designated area of operation. The contingent complained that their living conditions at the airport were inadequate and requested contracted external security for their living space. There was no garrison space for the contingent in the city area, so they were required to live mostly at the airport. They demanded the UN build them new barracks and submitted to the UN a bill to build an entirely new facility using local labor. As the UN entertained this idea, the location of the barracks repeatedly moved causing the Government to conduct multiple site surveys and create new life support requirement lists each time they designated a new location.

Meanwhile, the Government contingent perceived themselves to be second-class citizens because they were relegated to security duty, mainly consisting of guarding the gates. This perception was primarily due to the fact they lacked political pull in the UN because they were smaller than a full infantry company in strength and lacked an official agreement with the UN. The contingent was not capable of operating independently, which required the unit to rely on other UN forces for everything. The Government believed Mission X was not using them effectively; therefore, they took a lot of leave while waiting for the rest of the battalion to deploy to Mission X. This situation only further complicated the perception of the Government by other Troop Contributing Countries (TCC). Eventually, the Government contingent and its equipment were redeployed back home by the sea. The rest of the battalion continued to reside at the peacekeeping camp and in the capital city at PIB One’s main base.

All of these complications continue to contribute to the negative relationship between the UN and the Government. Later, the Government sent the UN a bill for “wear and tear” on their equipment during the process. From the UN perspectives, the Government deployment fiasco became more hassle than it was worth. The signing of an official agreement had yet to occur; therefore, the UN delayed repayment. Nevertheless, the main positive portion to the fiasco was that the individual soldiers proved very useful due to their local knowledge and language skills. This single cultural aspect continued to be their saving grace.

July 2002 – The UN Agreement:

In July 2002 the Government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN to officially join Mission X. The main points of the agreement authorize troop strength, reimbursement rates for pay and equipment, and equipment required for each battalion to deploy. Other key points of the agreement were a wet versus dry lease, i.e. the Government is required to provide the equipment for the deployment, but then is reimbursed for normal wear and tear. Lastly, the UN was responsible for the transportation of major equipment between the agreed point of origin and the port of embarkation or disembarkation.

The agreement authorized the Government to contribute a total force of 890 Soldiers to Mission X consisting of 45 Headquarters Staff, 27 Military Police (Gendarmerie), 3 Infantry Companies of 150 each, 1 Artillery Company of 150, 1 Logistics Company of 178, and 40 Instructors. The UN agreed to pay the Government $973 per month per soldier, with $200 meant to be paid to the government and $773 meant for the soldier’s pay, and a $40,000 death allowance to each family of a killed in action soldier.

Per the agreement the Government was required to deploy each soldier with the following: helmet, armored vest, ballistic goggles, two sets of uniforms, four t-shirts, six handkerchiefs, two pairs of boots, four pairs of underwear, four pairs of socks, one waterproof bag, two sets of gloves, and one set of sportswear. Also specified were a sleeping bag, rucksack, toothbrush, knife, spoon, fork, mosquito net, and medical kit.

May to September 2002 – Deployment #3 – PIB One:

From May to September 2002 the Government finally deployed the entire PIB One to Mission X. The relationship between the Government and the AFRICA OSC had significantly deteriorated to the point where sharing information concerning arrangements between the Government, UN, and the AFRICA OSC stopped occurring. During the summer of 2002 The Government was posed for deployment and then, from the USG perspective, it suddenly picked up and left one day. Therefore, the entire deployment of PIB One to Mission X at the time was opaque to the USG.

The Government continued to prove to be the UN’s “high maintenance contingent”. Overall it cost UN $1.2M to get the first battalion into Mission X. Because of the previous 737 aircraft incident, the UN requested the Government deploy all of their personnel and equipment by ground. The Government refused to bus to their sector through a neighboring country and insisted the UN fly them. The UN decided to use small planes, which seated 37 personnel, to deploy the entire battalion. This required 20 plus flights over a month. The UN completed the personnel movement of the battalion by May 2002. Due to lack of a paved runway at the Mission X International Airport in the Government engineers were required to repair the runway every day after each landing.

On September 2002 PBI One ground convoy arrived in their designated city of Mission X. The convoy included half of the vehicles donated to them by all partner nations.

September 2002 – PIB One’s first mission: Humanitarian Assistance

Shortly after the entire battalion arrived in September 2002 massive flooding caused panic throughout the town. PIB One used its military vehicles to evacuate at-risk personnel and overall won over the population through their brave actions. These small civil-military actions created the trust and goodwill of the Soldiers and the population.

The Government’s successes overcome UN complaints:

Once deployed the Government sent UN lists of complaints about the lack of supplies, the state of accommodation, and fences, etc. Some international mentors commented that the troops did not want to fight and kill fellow Africans. Instead, they put more of an emphasis on dialog and negotiating with locals and between local parties that were fighting. The Government noted instances of condescension towards their personnel from other UN soldiers. There was the criticism of their forces that they became too involved in local affairs because most of the Government forces were from similar tribal groups in another region. The Government troops helped the local administration with building projects and trained the first Mission X Country’s Battalion to be certified by the UN.

May 2003 – Peacekeeping Training #3 – PIB Two:

In May 2003, the Chief of Defense requested the AFRICA OSC train a second battalion to replace PIB One. The AFRICA OSC immediately conducted a training management meeting with the CHoD and his staff. The CHoD requested the AFRICA OSC train the battalion in two phases with each phase consisting of two light infantry companies. The first phase of training began in October and ended in December 2003. Lingering questions remained at the end of the first phase of training. Primarily because the AFRICA OSC had yet to see the remaining 500 members of the new battalion arriving at the peacekeeping camp in time for training in January 2004.

November 2003 – Chief of Defense Change of Command:

In November 2003 the current CHoD relinquished command of the Armed Forces and transferred authority to a new CHoD. The previous CHoD had commanded the military since 1979 and was one of the first of 100 officers of the military. This transition signaled one of many significant new changes. The old CHoD was more of a strategic and diplomatic general while the new CHoD is more of a tactical general. The old CHoD allowed his subordinate commanders’ room to command while the new CHoD put on white gloves and check engine hulls for dirt. Shortly after taking command the new CHoD halted all current training and deployments in order to conduct a full review of past and current training, inventory of all equipment, and a review of the financial transactions for anything concerning the peacekeeping battalion.

November and December 2003 – The Cost of Peacekeeping:

In November 2003 at 0631hrs a Vehicle Born Improved Explosive Device detonated in front of the Mission X compound entrance. The VBIED breached the initial defenses, and five Al-enemy members entered the compound. Fighting lasted approximately 20 minutes and left 56 dead, and 12 wounded. 11 local nationals, one peacekeeper, two National Army, twenty civilians, and the UN forces killed eight enemy forces. The enemy wounded seven National Police and nine peacekeepers.

January 2004 – Presidential Decree – First recruitment of new soldiers since 1980’s Civil War:

In January 2004 the President announced by Presidential Decree the recruitment of 800 new soldiers, of which 500 were designated to form the remaining portion of the second battalion. This information was never shared with the AFRICA OSC. US personnel expected, based on past experiences, that the military would more than likely postpone future training events due to lack of personnel.

The second phase of training was divided into two phases because of the recruitment of the 800 new soldiers. Another partner nation conducted basic training for the 800 new recruits along with the Military School. However, due to the size of the increase in the military, a 15% increase at the time, the three-month basic training was spread throughout the country at the regimental headquarters.

January through May 2004 – Peacekeeping Training #4 and #5 – PIB Two:

While the new recruits received basic training instruction from the military regiments, the AFRICA OSC’s trainers conducted training in specialized skills such as mortars, medical, and logistics from January to February 2004. After the 800 soldiers had completed basic training 500 were sent to another training camp to complete the final phase of training. From April to May 2004 the USG contractors completed the last and third phase of training for PIB Two. This training consisted of parts of the Enhanced UN Package to include Command and Staff Operations Skills Training, Soldier Skills Training, Non-Commissioned Officer and Company Grade Officer Training, and Enhanced Marksmanship Training.

September 2004 to January 2005 – PIB Two – four changes of command:

Colonel W became the first commander of PIB Two in September 2003. His previous assignments included Defense Attaché, where he was known to be elusive and not present at most significant events. As individual soldier equipment arrived COL W was surprisingly suspended without pay for 20 days for insubordination to the CHoD. He reportedly demanded to CHoD that his troops receive the new equipment the USG had recently delivered. The AFRICA OSC observed that the CHoD had emptied his “coffers” of old uniforms and equipment while conducting bi-weekly spot checks at the peacekeeping camp. All the new 500 Soldiers were in 1970s Soviet uniforms, instead of the tan rip-tear versions recently delivered by the USG. Members of the CHoD’s staff told the AFIRCA OSC the CHoD preferred to keep the new equipment in case of other contingencies. Shortly after that in January 2004, a new commander of PIB Two was announced and COL W was never been seen again by the AFRICA OSC. A member of the military told the AFRICA OSC the military mandatorily retired him.

COL W was quickly replaced with COL X who was very active in training the battalion when he was present. He was reported to spend more time in the capital city 1 hour away in order to “deal” with the military headquarters. Some think he preferred to sleep in his nice bed than to live with his soldiers in the peacekeeping camp on a cot. His deputy, LTC Y, was the main conduit who stayed at the peacekeeping camp and ran the training of the new battalion. One day COL W became sick and was relieved of command.

LTC Y took over as the new battalion commander and did an excellent job training and preparing the battalion. In fact, he did such a good job he was promoted to the position of Commander of the Commandos, commander of the Border Region of Country X. The current Commander of the Commandos, commander of the Border Region of Country X, COL Z was reassigned as PIB Two commander and deployed with the battalion to Mission X in February 2005. COL Z has previous peacekeeping experience as the commander of the only other peacekeeping unit (company) to deploy to Country X in 1985.

April 2004 – Country X mourns the loss of 18 soldiers – the population begins to ponder this commitment:

In April 2004 six soldiers were killed in a suicide car bomb in the central city of the Mission X. These six Soldiers were the single greatest loss for the Government since the border conflict in 1999, and the first time the population realized the cost of the contribution the military was contributing to Mission X.

February to August 2004 – Relief in place or augmentation?

From February to August 2004 the President pressured the United Nations to expand his forces from one battalion to two. After month-long negotiations, Mission X Troop Contributing Countries made an agreement to increase the Government’s troop contributions. Section 2.c. of this agreement increased troops by 900 and decreased others by 450 and several others each by 150. This agreement finalized the discussion of whether or not the second battalion would augment or relieve the first. The fact the first battalion has been in Mission X for more than two years was not a relevant fact in the decision.

Outstanding Back Payments from the UN: In 2004 a brief by the military G4 concerning outstanding payments from UN was given to the CCDR. The military briefed that none of their 20+ Killed in Action soldiers’ families had received their death gratuities. COL M also briefed that overall UN owed the Government over $45 million for back salaries, food, and equipment reimbursements.

January 2005 – Deployment #4 – PIB Two:

In January 2005 the CHoD received official notice from the United Nations Department of Field Support authorizing his military to deploy 900 soldiers and equipment. The reimbursement for this deployment by the UN was $1,022,822.46. The military rapidly began to prepare their forces for deployment over the upcoming days. Their vehicles had been pre-staged for months and included armored Peacekeeping Security Vehicles, HMMWV, and troop carriers.

The end.

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