Planning is key to both police and military operations, as it can mean that operations to protect communities can be more successful on the ground. This month two EU missions, the civilian EU Capacity Building Mission in Somalia (EUCAP Somalia) and the EU Military Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM Somalia), have jointly delivered project management and military planning training to the planning team of the Somali Police Force (SPF), as part of transition to greater civilian policing in the East African country.
The SPF planners are planning operations and training for a tactical police unit called the Darwish, who work alongside military forces in areas liberated from Al Shabaab in Somalia to hold the areas for police deployment. Greater cooperation and understanding between the Somali National Army (SNA) and police units like the Darwish, is also one of the ways the SPF and the Somali government are working to ensure Somalia’s civilian and military security forces can take over from AMISOM under the Transition Plan of Somalia.
The Head of the Planning Team of the Somali Police Force (SPF), Major Ahmed Isse Ahmed, said greater knowledge of military planning meant his team could better carry out their work in a mixed civilian-military operating environment.
“It has been quite detailed but very rewarding. With this information, we can approach our real operational challenges with better methodology and preparation, and coordinate more efficiently with the Somali National Army,” he said.
The training was delivered via a series of online webinars due to coronavirus restrictions, and included principals of clear communication as well scenario planning and threat analysis, under the advanced project planning umbrella.
Hugh Moody, project officer with EUCAP Somalia, said the course was a continuation of EUCAP and EUTM integrated effort in supporting Somali partners on security development.
“EUCAP devised the course structure, programme and conducting measures, whilst EUTM lent their experience and expert instruction on military maneuvers. I am happy that we can deliver this course at such an advanced level even amidst COVID-19, and the results have been very encouraging and promising for future cooperation on support to our partners,” Mr. Moody said.
Major Andrea Checcucci of EUTM Somalia said the joint EU support in supporting Somali partners in this area was an important step.
“As part of the course formulated by EUCAP, the instruction imparted by myself and Lt Col Teale meant that we could demonstrate military planning principles to police professionals. We aimed to provide the planning and leadership knowledge needs required for their role in the real theatre of operations in Somalia,” he said.
Lieutenant Samira Nezar of the Planning Team said she felt the team learned what they needed for their work.
“Having completed the instructional phase of the course, I felt that we have gained very valuable information that will be useful to me and my colleagues in our Operations Planning functions. A big thanks to EUCAP and EUTM for providing this opportunity,” she said.
The theoretical modules will be followed by practical “table-top” exercises so the SPF planners can apply the knowledge gained into real world scenarios and operational situations in Somalia.