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Acocks Green reservist travels out to Uganda

An Acocks Green Army reservist has taken a break from his day job as a gas engineer to spend two weeks training Ugandan soldiers for United Nations peacekeeping duties

Corporal Wayne Matthews,
Corporal Wayne Matthews,

An Acocks Green Army reservist has taken a break from his day job as a gas engineer to spend two weeks training Ugandan soldiers for United Nations peacekeeping duties.

Corporal Wayne “Matty” Matthews, is part of a team passing on basic infantry tactics to soldiers of the Ugandan People’s Defence Force.

The troops had already received training from American, French and Dutch soldiers ahead of their deployment on UN missions.

“We are teaching several groups of 100 soldiers a day,” Matty said.

“We like to act and joke around during the scenarios as it helps to engage with the troops and breaks down the language barrier. They are enthusiastic and keen to learn, but they have different ways of working to us so we have had to adapt our training to suit them.”

The 47-year-old Transco worker is a member of Sheldon-based A Fusilier Company, 4th Battalion the Mercian Regiment. He went to Uganda as part of a training team from the Army Reserve, formerly the Territorial Army.

Matty was a regular soldier with the 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, the local infantry unit for Birmingham. He joined the Reserve in 1998 after missing the camaraderie and adventure.

In his military career he has been to Cyprus, Iraq, Kazakhstan and is on his second deployment to Uganda, the first being last year.

Matty, who also regularly raises money for Help for Heroes, said: “I have learnt a lot over the years and I really enjoy passing on my military skills and knowledge. My ambition is to keep doing what I am doing.”

 

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