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  • Oct
  • 2015
US, Ghana strengthen maritime intelligence

By Courtesy Story, Marine Corps Forces Africa

SEKONDI, Ghana -- U.S. service members completed a Tactical Intelligence Support To Maritime Operations Centers for the Ghanaian Navy Oct. 12-23 at Ghana’s Navy Trade Training School at Sekondi, Ghana.

This two-week introduction to intelligence was the first of four planned “train-the-trainer” courses for the fiscal year.

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps service members taught Sixteen Ghanaian sailors, along with two senior members of Ghana’s Marine Police Unit of the Ghana Police Service.

The course was designed as both an introduction to the intelligence process, particularly in support of their media operations centers, and to prepare the students to become intelligence instructors for the Ghanaian Navy's internal intelligence courses.

"It is envisioned that the knowledge from this course, when put to use, will help improve the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the Ghana Navy," stated Lt Cdr. Kwasi Kyerematen Donkor, commanding officer of Ghana’s Navy Trade Training School.

Marines with U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa and Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa focused on tactical collections such as patrol briefing, debriefing, site exploitation and intelligence reporting during the first week.

The second week consisted of students teaching back the first week of courses to the instructors. Students focused on how to effectively teach to a student body by creating lesson plans, and using personal stories and practical applications.

Combined Task Force-68, led by U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer Torivio Hall and Petty Officer 1st Class Brett Pippen, both intelligence specialists, focused on understanding and utilizing multiple sources of intelligence, matching it to an indicators and warning system and then more effectively utilizing this intelligence in support of Ghana’s current MOC processes.

“We are all from different departments and as such, information flow in the area of Intelligence will [now] be easier,” said Ghanaian Navy Lt. Michael Agyare Asiamah, a student-officer taking part in the training. “Training our personnel in the departments will also be much easier. Intelligence gathering within the Ghana Navy will be greatly improved after this course.”

The Africa Partnership Station-supported training is the second joint intelligence engagement in West Africa. Further collaboration in intelligence security cooperation among U.S. Marine Forces Africa and SPMAGTF-CR-AF, U.S. Naval Forces Africa and CTF-68 will occur in other West African maritime nations throughout 2016. The outcomes of these skills-development efforts will be tested during exercises, such as Obangame Express.

By building this partnership, Ghana can continue to engage in collaborative missions in support of U.S. objectives and interests in the region, said Capt. Jeremy Phillips, the intelligence security cooperation Officer with SPMAGTF-CR-AF.

“This event is slightly different because we are establishing an instructor cadre and helping them create a curriculum,” said Phillips. “The Ghanaian Navy will use this to teach the rest of their intelligence sailors how to become effective collectors and analysts in the near future. We are impressed with the quality and dedication of the Ghanaian officers and sailors that will make up their instructor cadre and we are looking forward to continuing this partnership over the next year.”

Story courtesy of U.S. Marines Maj. Oliver C. Talbott and Capt. Jeremy A. Phillips with U.S. Marine Corps Forces Europe and Africa and Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, respectively.