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Widnes platoon commander trains Ugandan soldiers
A WIDNES army reservist is helping to train soldiers in Africa.
Paddy Highet, aged 21, is on a two week mission to instruct 1,800 soldiers from the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) in basic infantry tactics.
He is a platoon commander based in Widnes with 4 Mercian Regiment.
He said: “"I have been to Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands on exercise but this my first deployment of this kind.
“As an officer I learn discipline, management and organisational skills which have helped in training over 100 soldiers from a completely different culture and language and will help me in my future career."
Paddy studied history and politics at the University of Liverpool and joined the university’s Officer Training Corps in 2009.
He plans to join the police and hopes to serve in Afghanistan with the army reserve.
The UPDF has received training from American, French and Dutch troops before the British deliver the final two weeks of training which finishes in a two day field exercise after which they are deployable on UN peace keeping missions.
Paddy and his team of 28 soldiers are forging links with the UPDF who are involved in several UN and African Union missions throughout Africa, helping to prevent conflicts from escalating.
Paddy said: "I taught anti-ambush drills. It was interesting to see how the Ugandans operated.
“It took time to sort the creases in their doctrine but the troops are keen to learn and very enthusiastic despite having much less kit than us."
The training has included counter-insurgency tactics and procedures for the soldiers in the rifle companies and mentoring and guidance for the commanders and headquarters staff.
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