Ten Cel Flávio Luiz Lopes dos Prazeres
In June 2022, JWMTT¹, the Mobile Jungle Training Team, completed three years of creation. It is composed of 13² jungle warriors from the three Brazilian Armed Forces, who provide training to troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In an unprecedented deployment, this team has provided specialized training to both the United Nations troops, more specifically those of the FIB (Force Intervention Brigade) – the Brigade of Intervention, composed of troops from South Africa, Malawi, Tanzania, Nepal, and Indonesia – and the Congolese Army troops. These trainings are conducted at the brigade, battalion, company, platoon, and battle group levels.
To accomplish its mission, the JWMTT uses the jungles around Mavivi Base³ and other external areas as necessary and as extensive as the training needs are. It is worth mentioning that, since they are areas of incidence of armed groups, these jungles are a good combat reference for the activities carried out.
The Mobile Jungle Team accompanies the UN troops in real training missions in “red” areas, as in the case of base reinforcement exercises, in which the rapid forces move to military bases inside the jungle to provide fire and material support in the case of enemy attacks or various other problems.
The troops receive jungle training in the “Training in Mission” mode, when they are already deployed in their area of operations. In this sense, there is a need for the Brazilian team to be constantly updated on what is happening in combat. The JWMTT receives daily reports on the combat in the area of operations and adapts this reality to the training provided: a rewarding and valuable challenge!
Each training module is always preceded by an agreed plan between the Brazilian team and the troops to be trained. Usually, battalion commanders express their needs in jungle operations to the team leader. Then the JWMTT puts together the program of instruction, which lasts from two to four weeks, according to the needs of that fraction.
Under the technical guidance of the Jungle Warfare Training Center, the team draws its training from the center of excellence’s curriculum, obviously making the necessary adjustments to the combat situations experienced in the Congo. The evaluation has been very positive. It is measured by the growth of the technical indexes achieved by the troops after our training, by the troops’ own response in highlighting that the in-mission training contributes to the maintenance of the operational standards, or also by the performance obtained in combat.
And, on this issue, I emphasize the most recent performances obtained by troops trained by the Brazilian team in the Congo. The first refers to the South African troops who, after being trained in defense and base reinforcement in the jungle by Brazilian jungle warriors, repelled with extreme skill and combativeness a heavy attack by the main armed group in the region, causing them significant casualties in May 2021. Another highlight can be given to the performance of the 3206th Infantry Regiment of the Congolese Army, which had a remarkable performance against the rebels in July of last year, in the jungles of Bunia, northeast of Ituri province, after having had three weeks of intense training in jungle warfare with the Brazilian team.
Accordingly, after almost three years in the field, the Mobile Jungle Training Team provided training for 2.036 military personnel of more than 20 nationalities from 5 different continents, contributing not only to disseminate the main techniques, tactics and procedures of jungle warfare, but also to the projection of Brazilian military forces in an international environment.
In addition, this team of 13 soldiers has consolidated a vast experience and accumulated important lessons learned with respect to the actuality of the new Jungle Warfare and current combat by understanding that today’s real combat requires modern means in all operational environments, especially in the jungle: either in the use of vests and helmets of very good quality for action in this environment, or in the use of more technological means such as remotely piloted aircraft systems to identify the enemy under vegetation cover, among other various lessons learned.
These are some of the many lessons the team has learned during these more than two years deployed in the field. These lessons are even more significant if we consider that, with the end of MINUSTAH¹¹ in 2017, the largest military personnel deployed by Brazil at the moment is precisely this team in the Congo, an experience that should be greatly valued, replicated, and even expanded.
In conclusion, after these intense works in the DRC, the JWMTT has fulfilled its mission with excellence, both in the solid contribution to the MONUSCO effort, and in the military projection of Brazil. Therefore, it can be considered a very advantageous investment for the Brazilian state to deploy 13 military personnel, jungle warriors, in a conflict environment, receiving in return international respect, combat experience for its military personnel, and the even more evident and irrefutable strengthening of its commitment to world peace.
¹Acronym that stands for Jungle Warfare Mobile Training Team.
² 1 Lieutenant-Captain of the Brazilian Navy; 6 Officers (2 TC, 2 Maj, 2 Cap) and 5 (2 1st Sgt and 3 2nd Sgt) of the Brazilian Army and 1 Captain of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
³ United Nations Logistical and Operational Base located in the territory of Beni, DRC. This base houses, among other facilities, an airfield and the Intervention Brigade Headquarters.
¹¹ United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. Brazil was in MINUSTAH from 2004 to 2017.
About the author:
TC INF FLÁVIO LUIZ LOPES DOS PRAZERES. INF AMAN/1999. HAS: PARACHUTIST BASIC COURSE; JUMP MASTER COURSE; JUNGLE OPERATIONS COURSE CAT “B”; COMMAND AND STAFF COURSE – ECEME 2016; JOINT STAFF COURSE – MILITARY UNIVERSITY INSTITUTE (IUM) IN 2019 (LISBOA – PORTUGAL); MASTER IN MILITARY SECURITY AND DEFENSE SCIENCES – IUM IN 2020. MAIN FUNCTIONS: INSTRUCTOR OF CIGS (2010/2011), INSTRUCTOR AND ASSESSOR OF COLOMBIA’S LANCEROS SCHOOL (2012); COMMANDER OF THE 2nd CIA GD 2013/2014; HEAD OF MONUSCO JUNGLE TRAINING TEAM (2021); CMT APPOINTED OF THE 26th BIPqdt 2022/2023.
*** Translated by DEFCONPress Team***