The British Army are to train more than 300 members of the Libyan security forces who arrived in the UK yesterday.
The Libyan forces are set to learn basic infantry skills and military leadership at Bassingbourn Camp in Cambridgeshire. They will be put through their paces on a course developed by the British Army and run by 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.
The Libyan cadets’ arrival comes following an announcement made last year that the UK would help to train up to 2,000 Libyan troops.
In January this year, the Libyan government agreed to fund a 24-week training programme for the first group of cadets, who have already undergone a screening and selection process in Libya. The MOD has been working closely with the Libyan government to develop the package which will consist of 12 modules to include drill, marksmanship, fitness, first-aid, military discipline and the law of armed conflict.
The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, said:
I am pleased that the training of the Libyan General Purpose Force at Bassingbourn Camp has begun in earnest after several months of preparation. Over the next 24 weeks the British Army will deliver world-class training to the Libyan soldiers, which will better prepare them to support Libya’s transition to a stable and open democracy.
The cadet training is part of the General Purpose Force (GPF) programme. It fulfils the UK Prime Minister’s commitment, given at last year’s G8 Summit, to help the Libyan government disarm and integrate militias and improve the security and stability of the country.
The MOD’s contribution to the GPF initiative is part of the wider ongoing political, economic, justice and security support the UK is providing to Libya. The British government is supporting capacity building in Libya’s government institutions including defence, border security, justice and police reform, public financial management and economic governance and diversification.