The United States, through the U.S. government’s Global Peace Operations Initiative (USGPOI), conducted a four-week training course for 30 Zambian military peacekeepers, culminating with a graduation ceremony on November 24. The training prepared the Zambian peacekeepers to make significant contributions to the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic.
The training course, titled “Advanced Training Management/Training Resource Management,” prepared the graduates to be effective instructors and planners and to carry out future trainings of Zambian peacekeepers. The USGPOI team has a long history of working in Zambia to support Zambia’s commitment to providing high quality United Nations peacekeeping operations support. USGPOI instructors are retired U.S. military and reserve officers and non-commissioned officers with expertise in the areas of training, planning, and operations.
USGPOI instructors partner with Zambian Defence Force (ZDF) instructors to provide world-class training for ZDF soldiers. Each year the USGPOI team travels to Zambia to work with the returning peacekeepers, incorporating lessons learned and best practices from their experiences into pre-deployment trainings for the next cohorts of Zambian peacekeepers. The United States provides over $4.5 million (76 million kwacha) worth of equipment and support to Zambia’s Kenneth Kaunda Peace Training Center annually.
Beyond supporting the skills and safety of Zambian peacekeepers, the U.S.-Zambia partnership through USGPOI had broader effects in bringing our people together. For example, Colonel (Retired) Mark Drown, the Team Leader for the USGPOI team, also volunteers as the Technical Director for the Zambian Army Rugby Team the ‘Green Buffaloes.’ He recently represented Zambia in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England as an Assistant Coach under Coach Andrew Kaminsa.