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Guyanese, American Special Forces exchange skills

US Special Forces with GDF Special Forces (US embassy photo)

Guyanese and American Special Forces have just wrapped up a month-long rigorous training exercise at two bases of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the US embassy here said in a statement.

A graduation ceremony was held on Friday, August 29 at the end of the Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) for the GDF’s 3-1 Special Forces Squadron and members of the United States Special Forces. 

The Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET), took place in and around Camp Stephenson and contained three phases.   The first phase, taught by the U.S. Special Forces soldiers, consisted of short and long range marksmanship, swimming, and classroom training.  The classroom training covered tactical combat casualty care, radio operability, patrolling techniques, and leadership skills.  Thirty-four Guyanese soldiers rapidly advanced through phase one, which culminated with a Combat Water Survival Test.  Phase two built on the skills learned in Phase one, but was taught at a faster pace.  Phase three culminated with a 72-hour rigorous exercise with individual and team eventsthat tested the newly acquired skill set by the Guyanese soldiers.  The soldiers practiced their marksmanship, radio procedures, combat life-saving medical skills, and swimming.  Additionally, they performed a physical training test, swimming test, and obstacle course. 

After the culmination exercise, the U.S. Special Forces soldiers attended a training course at the Colonel Robert Mitchell Jungle and Amphibious Training School (CRMJATS)).  Under the guidance of the Guyana Defense Force 3-1 Special Forces, the U.S. soldiers received 72 hours of expert instruction and familiarization on a broad range of survival skills. Brigadier Mark Phillips, GDF Chief of Staff, was on hand to observe the culmination exercise and presided over the graduation ceremony.  Both the U.S. and GDF teams agreed that the event was a resounding success. 

Lieutenant Commander Bob Novotny, the United States’ Senior Defense Official in Guyana, remarked “this was outstanding training and an excellent partner-to-partner exercise for the United States and Guyana Defense Force soldiers.  These teams were able to provide each other world class training in their areas of expertise and in doing so created life-long relationships.  Our Embassy’s Security Cooperation Office looks forward to bringing more JCETs to Guyana in the years to come.”