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No-nonsense Soldiers Train Nigerian Infantry: Walking off the plane, the air hits you like fumes from an oven opened too close, too soon. Going south, the equator is a short bus ride. But, this team wasn’t going south.

Leaving major metropolitan infrastructure behind, General Milley’s perspective on future combat operations in austere conditions becomes a reality. Jaji isn’t home to the creature comforts found in Middle Eastern forward operating bases. No Burger King. No Pizza Hut. No air-conditioning or internet. No running water. However, there are plenty of buckets.

“We walk over to this big pump and get our own water to flush our toilets since water happens intermittently,” explained Capt. Aaron Harris. “It’s not always a fixed system or anything like that.”

Harris is ordinarily a forward support company commander for the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, New York. But out here, Harris uses his logistics background to support a team of 12 U.S. Army Soldiers fulfilling a six-week advise and assist mission in a remote military compound three hours north of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

“We have bed space, plenty of places to sleep,” Harris said matter-of-factly. “The food’s great; we hired a local, a spouse of one of the Nigerian army soldiers. She cooks for us, provides us water. We have water, hot meals, beds, and mosquito nets. What more can you ask for?”

‘What more can you ask for’ was the last expression you’d expect to hear from any Soldier carrying two five-gallon buckets of cold water to a cramped stall walled off with thin vinyl. But if you want to shower, you fill your buckets. The process is simple. You pour one bucket on yourself, apply soap, and use the second bucket to rinse. Read more

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No-nonsense Soldiers Train Nigerian Infantry: Walking off the plane, the air hits you like fumes from an oven opened too close, too soon. Going south, the equator is a short bus ride. But, this team wasn’t going south.