The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) is reconstituting its Forward Operating Bases (FOBs) to enhance safety and security of its troops. The exercise will also involve reviewing the design and layout to help establish sustainable FOBs which have positive impact on troop protection, logistical costs and combat force effectiveness.
“The threat has continuously changed hence we want better protection for our troops in the frontline. We also need to come up with a standardized FOB layout,” said Maj. Gen. Fidza Dludlu, the AMISOM Head of Mission Support, at a conference for AMISOM sector engineers held in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The aim of the conference, organized by AMISOM with support of the UK Mission Support Team (UKMST), was to come up with a standardized design and layout for the current and future FOBs. Maj. Gen. Dludlu explained that the reconstitution of FOBs was part of the implementation of the Somali Transition Plan, which will see the AU Mission further reduce its troops by 1000 this year.
According to AMISOM, the exercise might require the handing over of some of the military bases to the Somali national security forces as part of the transfer of security responsibility to federal government. “Our focus is to support the Somali Transition Plan.
This may need us to handover some FOBs or collapse or create new ones,” Gen. Dludlu added. Gen. Dludlu appealed to the officers to put aside their different military doctrines and come up with a standard structure, which will guarantee troop safety and increase efficiency in FOBs.
The military component in AMISOM is comprised of troops drawn from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia who are deployed in six sectors covering south and central Somalia. AMISOM Force Engineer, Col. Olugbemi Adeboye Obasanjo, noted that the safety and security of AMISOM troops is paramount to the fulfilment of the AU Mission’s mandate.