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Fort Bragg Soldiers to Teach Peace in Africa

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Staff Sergeant Robert Parker says American soldiers take training for granted
FORT BRAGG — Some of Fort Bragg's finest are heading to Africa. About 60 soldiers fromthe 18th Airborne Corps and the Special Forces Group will leave for Ugandaand Senegal on Friday. If all goes well, this mission will teach Africansoldiers to keep the peace by putting down their weapons.

We normally think about soldiers fighting a war. But more often, UnitedStates soldiers are fighting to keep the peace. Staff Sergeant RobertParker says the Fort Bragg troops will teach African soldiers to do thesame. The training will include basic soldiering tasks that Americansoldiers often take for granted.

Packing up equipment and food was the order of the day Wednesday. For thenext two months, the troops' job will be to train an all African army howto maintain the peace. This training includes how to establish acheckpoint and patrol certain areas.

The gear being packed is not only for the US soldiers to use whiletraining African troops, but to equip the African soldiers as well. Insidethe packages are uniforms, canteens, and evenfirst aid kits so that, once the us soldiers leave, African troops can beself-sufficient.

"If a person's hungry, don't give them a fish," says Major MatthewDansbury. "Teach them how to fish. That's what we're doing. We're actually teaching them how to take care of themselves."

That's just one way the US hopes to keep soldiers like these out of wars, and in the business of peace. Special Forces soldiers helped 30 other countries last year with similar training programs. Fort Bragg leaderssay such programs are also helping the US military save money.

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