45 Malawi Defence Force (MDF) marines and boat crewmen concluded a one-month Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) event alongside U.S. Navy Special Warfare operators during a closing demonstration and ceremony on Friday 20 September in Senga Bay. Since the exercise began in late-August, U.S. operators have been training their MDF counterparts on vessel boarding and seizure, infiltration, amphibious operations, and urban movement techniques. This training event is part of a larger U.S. effort to assist with improving security on Lake Malawi.
Multiple U.S. trainers commented on the superior professionalism of the MDF and that their Malawi Maritime Force partners exceeded all expectations. The U.S. training team commander noted that he was “very impressed by the exceptional discipline and work ethic of our Malawian partners; they adapted quickly to advanced tactics, applied innovative solutions, and approached all training events with enthusiasm and grit.” The U.S. Embassy’s acting Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr. Marc Trahan, and Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAF) Chief of Staff, Colonel Richard Schmidt, witnessed these skills firsthand when they attended the event’s closing activities at the Malawi Armed Forces College (MAFCO) on Friday.
This training is part of a close and continuous military partnership between Malawi and the United States that has existed for decades to strengthen defense ties and promote regional security through exchanges, professional military education, HIV/AIDS prevention, and support to international peacekeeping operations. Earlier this year, two other JCET events trained more than 150 MDF soldiers that deployed this month as part of Malawi Battalion (MALBATT) 11 in support of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO).