In February, the Brazilian Army (EB, in Portuguese) initiated jungle training for a subunit of the 15th South African Infantry Battalion, which is part of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO, in French). Launched in July 2010, MONUSCO’s mission aims to protect civilians and entities, strengthen institutions, contribute to the stabilization process, and consolidate peace in the Congo, historically scarred by conflicts and civil wars.
“This was a groundbreaking initiative for the U.N. and Brazil. Brazil’s team has 13 officers and sergeants deployed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo conducting specialized training on jungle operations for MONUSCO troops,” said the EB in a statement to Diálogo.
The Specialized Jungle Operations Mobile Team consists of 11 instructors from the EB, one from the Brazilian Navy (MB, in Portuguese), and one from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese). The professionals received technical orientation at Brazil’s Jungle Warfare Center, an EB educational institution in Manaus, Amazonas which is an international trailblazer in jungle operations, with expertise sought out by other armed forces and partner nations.
“It should be noted that the armed groups in this African country use the forest to carry out operations against civilians. Therefore, lessons are aimed to combat these armed groups,” said the EB.
The training sessions started in 2019. It was the first time in the history of the U.N. that a team with this specialty was used to train troops in areas of conflict. Since then, training the trainer sessions have been promoted so that those who attend can train others.
The four-week training program has four modules, two on jungle technique, one on jungle patrol planning and execution, and the last one on basic reinforcement inside the jungle. The training includes lessons on navigation, patrol, sand tables (used to create a topographical map with sand to visualize an area and the sequence of mission operations), reaction to enemy contact, and tactical deployment in a jungle environment.
According to the EB, after the completion of this module with the 15th South African Infantry Battalion, which is scheduled to end in April, the team will start training the Malawian troops, and later the Tanzanian troops. The Brazilian team will spend three months with each troop, enough time to train the subunits of each of their battalions.
“This mission is very important because the Brazilians’ knowledge of jungle operations is currently contributing to world peace. In addition to that, it ratifies the level of excellency and efficacy of Brazilian doctrine in jungle operations,” said the EB.