An Army Reservist from Halifax has been enjoying a winter break with a difference – helping to train Ugandan soldiers in the equatorial heat and humidity of East Africa.
Corporal David Myhowycz was part of a 30-strong team led by Reservists of the 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (4 YORKS).
He spent 11 days in temperatures of up to 32°C testing the Ugandan People’s Defence Force (UPDF) before it crosses into Somalia to run peacekeeping operations.
David, a qualified mechanic but currently unemployed, is a Section Commander at 4 YORKS with responsibility for seven soldiers.
He has been assessing the Ugandans’ ability to fight in built up areas and clear insurgents from house to house.
He said: “I’ve been showing them how to work through a village or town systematically and safely. They have learned a lot of these skills over the past few weeks from the American and Dutch training teams, we have been sent out here to test what they have learned.
“It’s good to work with different nationalities. I’ve worked with Afghans and Americans before and I like to learn how people work in different countries. We learn from them and they learn from us.”
Based at UPDF Peace Support Training School at Singo in the south of the country David was part of a British Army team which helped to school a 1,900 strong Ugandan Battlegroup in a range of counter-insurgency techniques before setting the soldiers their final exam – an intensive, three day exercise designed to test their new skills to the limit.
The 4 YORKS led team not only included fighting soldiers but also Medics, training officers, Military Police and support staff, most of whom have civilian jobs but give up their spare time to train and serve as Army soldiers.