Volunteer soldier gives Uganda fighters life-saving training ahead of mission in Somalia

Ruth Calvert. Picture courtesy of Sgt Jamie Peters RLC.
Ruth Calvert. Picture courtesy of Sgt Jamie Peters RLC.

A teacher from Derbyshire has given potentially life-saving training to soldiers in Uganda ahead of a peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

Corporal Ruth Calvert, of Wessington, was part of a team of regular and reserve soldiers from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment who travelled to the East African country.

The 40-year-old helped train Ugandan People’s Defence Force soldiers who are due to go into Somalia this year on a peacekeeping mission.

It is the third time 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment has delivered training for Ugandan troops fighting as part of the African Union Mission to Somalia.

The aim of the training is to build the capacity and capability of the Ugandan People’s Defence Force so they can help bring long-term stability to Somalia.

They will put this training into practice when they are deployed as part of the African Union Mission to Somalia.

The British troops, along with a few French, Danish and American soldiers, delivered a training package including convoy drills, medical treatment, key leader engagement and many more.

The troops from the 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment had to endure tropical rainstorms and temperatures of up to 34 degrees Celsius, as they delivered combat and counter-insurgency training in rural and urban settings.

Troops from the Ugandan People’s Defence Force were shown not only how to deal with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and defend a convoy from attack but also how to engage with the local community.

This training could make the difference between life and death for the Ugandans as they battle Al-Shabaab insurgents.

Shortly after arriving the British Army training team attended a homecoming parade for Ugandan soldiers returning from a recent deployment.

Cpl Calvert said: “One of them came up to us and shook our hands and said “Thank you so much”. It shows what a difference the training has made for them.”

Cpl Calvert, who is a trained geography teacher, was part of a team of 28 British soldiers deployed in the south of the country to deliver two weeks of training.

For more information visit: www.army.mod.uk/4YORKS.