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Old 04-14-2007   #4
Tom Odom
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: DeRidder LA
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Default The Japanese Afrika Korps

I had the somewhat unique experience of coaching the Japanese on the ground in Goma, Zaire in their first out of area deployment since WWII. There was most definitely an unreal element to it; they--and these were fairly senior officers--were most out of place and they knew it. The Japanese DATT in Nairobi made a special trip to Kigali just to ask me to go talk to them. I did and gave them my pitch of the FAZ (Zairian military) as uniformed bandits. The Japanese Colonel looked at me and said, "Colonel you know what you have said to us is very different from what the French said." I simply pointed to some FAZ bandits outside his wire (the US wire left behind by the JTF) and asked him if those guys made him feel secure. As I recall the Japanese had 3 maybe 4 light troop carriers with no crew served weapons. Their small arms were secured inside the carriers and total numbers were around 80 men including officers. Their "mission" was to somehow provide security in the camps. I told the Colonel the best thing he could do was go home and not risk his men.

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Tom
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