A team of twelve (12) experience American soldiers, that was led by Capt. Stephen Gouthro was all involved in the training of Nigerian infantry for one month and three weeks in Jaji, Kaduna, Nigeria.
One of the American soldiers, whose name is Capt. Aaron Harris in a chat he had with reporters briefly disclosed what they go through in Jaji.
“We walk over to this big pump and get our own water to flush our toilets since water happens intermittently,”It’s not always a fixed system or anything like that.”
Harris is just ordinarily a forward support company commander for the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, New York. But in Kaduna state, Harris uses his background in logistics to support a team of 12 U.S. Army Soldiers fulfilling a one month and two weeks advice and aid mission in a remote military compound three hours north of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
“We have bed space, plenty of places to sleep,” Harris said. “The food’s great; we hired a local, a spouse of one of the Nigerian army soldiers. She cooks for us, provides us water. We have water, hot meals, beds, and mosquito nets. What more can you ask for?”
Sgt. First Class Saul Rodriguez, is the most experienced of the 12 U.S. Army Soldiers that are in the remote military compound manufactured to produce Nigeria’s intrepid infantry recruits.
“My job is to train you as much as I can. Your job is to fight the bad guys out of your country,” Rodriguez shouted to a group of Soldiers demonstrating their best cover and concealment efforts behind’s Jaji’s bushes and trees.
“Yes. We are hard on them. We have to be. Their life depends on it,” Staff Sgt. Kevin Martin of the 10th Mountain Division said this after lecturing the 26th on the importance of maintaining noise discipline.
“They might need these skills one day. They face a very real and lethal threat. We aren’t going to slow down, we are going to pack as much training in as possible.”
A small support team that traveled to Jaji about one month into the mission, flying down from U.S. Army Africa’s headquarters in Italy.
The travelers asked Captain Gouthro if the team had any demands. Historically speaking, soldiers ask for candy, SIM cards or extra soap. Not this team. Gouthro’s priority remained the mission. He asked for a sizeable knife for a graduation gift to give the Nigerian company’s commander and some smokeless tobacco for one of his NCOs.
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