USARAF, ZDF chaplains discuss support for peacekeeping troops

Over thirty chaplains and their assistants from the Zambia Defense Force met with chaplains from U.S. Army Africa at the Zambia Defense Force officers mess in Chamba Valley, just outside of Lusaka, May 21-23.



By Maj. Matthew D. Madison Jul 18, 2019
View Gallery
fallback
Gallery contains 2 images

LUSAKA, Zambia – Over thirty chaplains and their assistants from the Zambia Defense Force met with chaplains from U.S. Army Africa at the Zambia Defense Force officers mess in Chamba Valley, just outside of Lusaka, May 21-23.

Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Vincent Mwenya, the Zambia Defense Force chaplain general and event host, is responsible for all the chaplains in the ZDF and personally welcomed Chaplain (Col.) David W. Lile, the USARAF command chaplain, in addition to participating in the engagement.

The lead facilitator for the three-day engagement was U.S. Army Chaplain (Maj.) Matthew D. Madison, the USARAF operations chaplain, who led discussions regarding the stress soldiers experience prior to, during, and upon returning home from a peacekeeping deployment.

During one session, Madison created three different deployment scenarios and divided the participants into three groups to discuss and then present to the large group their ideas on how to advise the commander and provide religious support to the unit.

One participant who was highlighted for her excellent involvement and multiple contributions to the group was Chaplain (Warrant Officer 2) Mary Mbao. Mbao has extensive deployment experience as part of the Zambian Army and she leveraged that expertise during group discussions and small group breakouts.

On the topic of stress, Mbao said, “Our duty as chaplains is to help our soldiers on how to respond to this stress and encourage them that God can work through that situation.”

One type of stress Madison highlighted that was new to the participants was anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief is common among spouses whose soldiers are about to deploy. Essentially, they begin to anticipate the loss or death of their spouses and emotionally react as if they were already dead. This helps to explain the emotional distance that is common among couples leading up to a deployment. Participants highlighted this knowledge as something they could use to help soldiers and families cope with the stress of an impending deployment.

Mbao went on to say, “The relationship between the U.S. (military) and ZDF means a lot to me. It shows me how committed the servants of God in uniform are. The relationship between the two countries is so powerful.”

From the perspective of the USARAF chaplains, they gained a greater insight into the unique deployment cycle stresses faced by members of the ZDF and how their chaplains are working to help commanders alleviate that stress and increase resiliency for their Soldiers.

Madison was impressed by the professionalism and expertise he found among the various chaplain personnel represented at the engagement. “The Zambian chaplains are a highly professional group who have already developed their own professional ethical code of conduct and are working toward establishing a National Chaplain Training Center and School. Under Chaplain General Mwenya’s leadership, they are a cohesive and well-trained Corps that has a very bright future and, I imagine, will play an important role for future missions in Africa.”

More in Partnerships
US Army Reserve deploys to Angola for medical readiness exercise
A specialized team from the 934th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment (FRSD) based in Salt Lake City, Utah, arrived in Luanda to participate in the latest medical readiness exercise (MEDREX). Scheduled to span three weeks from July 8-20, this exercise marks a significant effort in fostering U.S.-Angola military medical collaboration.
Read more
US, Botswana finalize planning for exercise Southern Accord 2024
GABORONE, Botswana – The U.S. Army and Botswana Defence Force (BDF) successfully concluded the final planning conference for exercise Southern Accord 2024 (SA24). The conference ran from June 18-21, and marked the culmination of preparations for the joint military exercise, which is designed to increase cooperation and interoperability between the two nations.
Read more
African Lion 24 concludes with strategic success across four nations
VICENZA, Italy — African Lion 24 (AL24), U.S. Africa Command’s premier, annual combined joint exercise conducted by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), concluded on May 31, 2024, in Morocco. AL24 ran from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents.
Read more
More in Partnerships
US Army Reserve deploys to Angola for medical readiness exercise
A specialized team from the 934th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment (FRSD) based in Salt Lake City, Utah, arrived in Luanda to participate in the latest medical readiness exercise (MEDREX). Scheduled to span three weeks from July 8-20, this exercise marks a significant effort in fostering U.S.-Angola military medical collaboration.
Read more
US, Botswana finalize planning for exercise Southern Accord 2024
GABORONE, Botswana – The U.S. Army and Botswana Defence Force (BDF) successfully concluded the final planning conference for exercise Southern Accord 2024 (SA24). The conference ran from June 18-21, and marked the culmination of preparations for the joint military exercise, which is designed to increase cooperation and interoperability between the two nations.
Read more
African Lion 24 concludes with strategic success across four nations
VICENZA, Italy — African Lion 24 (AL24), U.S. Africa Command’s premier, annual combined joint exercise conducted by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), concluded on May 31, 2024, in Morocco. AL24 ran from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents.
Read more
More in Partnerships
US Army Reserve deploys to Angola for medical readiness exercise
A specialized team from the 934th Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment (FRSD) based in Salt Lake City, Utah, arrived in Luanda to participate in the latest medical readiness exercise (MEDREX). Scheduled to span three weeks from July 8-20, this exercise marks a significant effort in fostering U.S.-Angola military medical collaboration.
Read more
US, Botswana finalize planning for exercise Southern Accord 2024
GABORONE, Botswana – The U.S. Army and Botswana Defence Force (BDF) successfully concluded the final planning conference for exercise Southern Accord 2024 (SA24). The conference ran from June 18-21, and marked the culmination of preparations for the joint military exercise, which is designed to increase cooperation and interoperability between the two nations.
Read more
African Lion 24 concludes with strategic success across four nations
VICENZA, Italy — African Lion 24 (AL24), U.S. Africa Command’s premier, annual combined joint exercise conducted by U.S. Army Southern European Task Force, Africa (SETAF-AF), concluded on May 31, 2024, in Morocco. AL24 ran from April 19 to May 31 across Ghana, Morocco, Senegal, and Tunisia, with over 8,100 participants from 27 nations and NATO contingents.
Read more