Mogadishu – 6-7 of November 2023.
Director of Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), LtGen Michiel Van der Laan visited the European Union Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM-S) in Mogadishu. This was the opportunity, accompanied by EUTM-S Mission Force Commander, Gen. Fulvio Poli and the Deputy at EU Delegation to Mogadishu, Thomas Kieler, to meet the Somali Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Ibrahim Sheick Muhyiddin. Many topics were discussed during a long meeting: training, logistics, infrastructures, army structure, doctrine, recruitment, communications, ATMIS drawdown and equipment deliveries. It was a very constructive meeting that gave the opportunity to understand the best way to make progress in providing integrated support to the Somali army.
During his first day visit, LtGen Van der Laan also met Deputy at EU Delegation to Mogadishu, Thomas Kieler, and Deputy Head of Mission EUCAP-Somalia, Fabian Loewenberg. The search for integrated and coordinated action with other EU missions operating in Somalia is a key factor to support this country more effectively: a combined action leads to long lasting results.
After the meeting, LtGen Michiel Van der Laan, during his visit, met the European Union Training Mission in Somalia (EUTM-S) personnel. In his speech, General Van der Laan congratulated the military personnel for the results obtained so far, urging them to continue to support the Somali Army, despite the difficult conditions and adversities.
On November 7, 2023, LtGen Van der Laan visited “General Dhagabadan Training Centre”. Accompanied by Gen. Poli, he visited the facilities of the centre and checked the progress of the construction works of the new shooting range. He also had the opportunity to observe the training activities of the Joint Officers Update Course, Combined Junior Leaders Update Course, C-IED Destroy “in situ” Course and the Senior Officers Course. LtGen Van der Laan talked with the trainees, and in particular, he answered the questions that Somali Senior Officers asked him. LtGen Van der Laan said that Junior Leaders training is vital. EUTM-S has trained almost 9.000 Somali officers, NCOs and troops since its first mandate in 2010. In 2023, it has organized 32 courses so far: 421 trainees completed successfully the course and 21 trainers were validated.