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Sgt. Mateusz Kaczynski, a maintenance management chief with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa, addresses a class of non-commissioned officers from the Benin Navy at Benin Naval Forces Headquarters, Cotonou, Benin, October 24, 2016. The U.S. Marine Corps theater security cooperation team with SPMAGTF-CR-AF spent two weeks teaching an NCO development and maintenance management course during their time training with the Benin Navy.

Photo by 1st Lt. Eric Abrams

Benin, U.S. work together to develop leaders

3 Nov 2016 | 1st Lt. Eric Abrams The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

The Benin Navy partnered with the U.S. Marine Corps to conduct Non-Commissioned Officer development and general maintenance management training at Benin Naval Forces Headquarters, Cotonou, Benin, October 17-28, 2016. 

During the first week of training, U.S. Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa taught general leadership practices essential in developing NCOs in the Marine Corps. By reviewing the leadership traits and principles, the Marines passed along proven values that have served to strengthen the NCO corps.

“We’ve learned a lot about the leadership of NCOs,” said PMT Charles Sagbo, the senior NCO in the course. “The NCO is the backbone of the military, no mission can be accomplished without strong NCOs. We have had training in the past, but this one has been very different because it has really touched on difficulties we have (in Benin). This training will help us improve throughout our career.”

The second week of training was spent teaching general maintenance techniques to help pass along useful practices in storing, maintaining, tracking, inspecting and repairing gear.

“Teaching these maintenance management techniques, allows the Benin Navy to institute a system effective in maintaining a high state of equipment readiness,” said 1st Lt. Joshua Littell, the Marine team leader.

By working together, Benin and the United States continue to develop an important relationship, providing more stability to the region and increasing the ability to work effectively between countries. 

“It’s important for us to be working with our allies to build strong relationships,” said Staff Sgt. Michael Reinert, the Marine team chief. “In the future we never know when (Benin) might call on us or we might call on them, so it’s important to keep these relationships maintained.”

Both nations benefit by working with each other, and look forward to training together again.

“It is our desire that this kind of training would continue, we look forward to working with Americans again in the future,” said Sagbo.

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