Marines recently wrapped up a two-month-long mission in Uganda where they taught basic military intelligence tactics to trained allied African troops who are battling piracy, terrorism and insurgencies. local and regional terrorism the so they are better able to share information and combat local and regional threatstraveled to Kampala, Uganda, to provide intelligence training for personnel from six African nations as the service ramps up exchanges in a region that took a back seat during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Marines with who taught the recent course in Uganda were assigned to the Regional Joint Intelligence Training Facility in Molesworth, United Kingdom, taught African troops Specifically, the course, taught "analytical techniques, researching and briefing skills, map reading, counterinsurgency and counterterrorism, according to an Marine news release published in April.but the majority of theater security operations in Africa are now conducted by forward deployed members of the Europe-based Special Purpose Marine Corps Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Africa.

They taught a two courses ran a y Members of The seven-week-long course for African noncommissioned officers and an eight week officer course. The goal was to get troops from six countries — Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Comoros, Seychelles and Djibouti — thinking about how to better collect and share intel as they work to combat local and regional threats. Military Intelligence Noncommissioned Officers Course – Africa and eight-week-long Military Intelligence Basic Officers Course – Africa teach allied African troops the basics of military intelligence so they are better able to share information and combat local and regional threats.

Marine officials did not immediately respond to queries about the intelligence courses. But it's the sort of multinational cooperation that could improve regional stability, stem threats from radical or criminal groups and protect U.S. interests as Marines find themselves increasingly active in Africa, said In just the last year they have conducted a multitude of operations including theater security cooperation exercises in Chad and crisis response evacuations of diplomatic personnel.Ben Connable a retired Marine intelligence officer who is now a policy analyst for Rand Corporation in Washington.

Basic skills can go a long way in places that lack the types of high-tech gear the U.S. uses to gather and analyze intelligence. "It is best practices for military organizations."They are likely being taught "old school techniques using grease pencils and radios," which is fine, he said, because many allied African nations lack the technological resources and institutional culture to perform the sort of data-intense intelligence collection and analysis the US military conducts.

"This is tactical intelligence, not strategic intelligence or cloak and dagger," he said. "Having a good intelligence capability can help partner nations identify these threats as they are arising. ," he said. "The earlier, the more likely they are to be able to intervene or respond in an effective way. Developing their military intelligence capability could wind up reducing violence, but also the necessity for the use of violence."

With terror groups like the Nigerian-based Boko Haram and the Islamic State group on the rise in Africa, basic intel training can help Marines and other troops operating on the continent get access to better information, said retired Army Special Forces Col. Steven Bucci, who's now with the Heritage Foundation, a Washington think tank.

"Teaching allies how to do intelligence work more effectively and leverage all the possible things they have at whatever level of technology they are at is a huge benefit to the recipient," Bucci said. "If recipients are doing that job better and sharing the intel they get with us, we have gained a heck of a lot."

It's a mission for which Marines are especially suited since they have a lot of recent experience in intel gathering from operating in Iraq and Afghanistan. Good intel-gathering is also vital when carrying out crisis response missions.

It is pretty standard training to teach allies basic military intelligence to collect information in an effective way while still respecting citizens' rights and laws, he said. It is exactly the sort of mission Connable said Marines are perfectly suited for and likely to see more of."Marines have a long history of training for and conducting irregular warfare intelligence. They have a lot of recent expertise from Iraq and Afghanistan," he said.In addition to supporting US facilities during crisis, they share skills with partner nations that could help quell internal unrest as radical groups, criminal organizations, ethnic tensions, border disputes and natural disasters provoke instability.

"Marines have a long history of training for and conducting irregular warfare intelligence," Connable said. "This is going to be the focus of effort in theaters where there is not direct combat going on. In the Middle East we are in crisis mode, but we are not in Africa, the Pacific, Latin America — this is the way of business going forward."

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