The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), has intensified plans to enhance twenty of its Forward Operating Bases (FOBs), over the next six months, to bolster military operations. The enhancement of the selected FOBs, will be implemented in line with the Transition Plan. A team of AU and UNSOS engineering support teams; technical experts from the UK Mission Support Team (UKMST), the Joint Support Operation Centre (JSOC) and the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS), is meeting in the capital Mogadishu, to map out a strategy for the enhancement programme.
Deliberations which will focus on a wellness programme for the FOBs, will also develop a list of bases in need of enhancement and reconstruction: “As AMISOM prepares to handover the security responsibility to the Somali security forces, this conference will come in handy to ensure that 20 FOBs meet the required international standards for security,” Col. Yinka Awolola, the AMISOM Force Engineer said at the official opening of the engineering logistics conference today.
Critical in ensuring effective engineering support to the AU Mission prior to the handover of security responsibilities to the Somali National Security Forces, the conference is expected to come up with firm recommendations to improve future operations. “You are so crucial because you actually determine the operating environment; you shape it; you enable the forces to perform in a better way. You are a force enabler, you are a force multiplier and so, without your skill, without your dedicated support, our forces cannot actually succeed,” the Deputy Head of AMISOM Mr. Simon Mulongo told participants.
He challenged them to ensure adequate technical support to all military activities being undertaken. “With this transition, we need you much more than ever before, so that when we bequeath to the government of Somalia, we have some assets that will remain, as a signature of AMISOM in this country,” he said. The Head of Mission Support Maj. Gen. Fidza Dludlu underscored the importance of ensuring well-fortified military bases. “We need to improve our FOBs; that is non-negotiable. You as sector engineers play a vital role in ensuring that this is complied with.”