THE newly-established Advanced Training and Support Division of Paramount Group, the global aerospace and technology company and Dubai-based Burnham Global have signed a multimillion dollar contract with an African government to provide a range of military training and advisory services.
South Africa-based Paramount, Africa’s largest defence firm, and Burnham will provide the recipient government’s security forces with the capabilities and expertise to effectively counter an ongoing insurgency within its borders. A pilot project has been operating in the country since mid-2020, and its success to date has led the government to commission the expanded programme.
Paramount acquired a strategic ownership stake in Burnham Global, a firm that specialises in providing a range of training solutions to security services, earlier this month in order to bolster the capabilities of its new division, Paramount Advanced Training and Support.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Alison Crooks, Director of Paramount Group said, ‘As the modern battlefield and the nature of conflicts evolves, in Africa, the Middle East and around the world, a more integrated, highly-customisable solution must be made available, provided to facilitate the optimal performance of both systems and personnel, ensuring mission survivability and safety.
‘We are proud to partner our Advanced Training and Support division with Burnham Global, enhancing the performance of armed forces’ equipment and their troops, and look forward to building upon this partnership to serve the demands of sovereign governments and the needs of their training facilities across the globe.’
Paramount’s Advanced Training and Support division will provide advanced training solutions for modern day ‘concept of operations’ and battlefield management to governments experiencing rising security challenges such as terrorism, violent extremism and insurgencies.
Crooks added: ‘From its inception, Paramount Group has been at the forefront of supporting its customers in combating asymmetrical warfare on the African continent and around the world. Our training philosophy of armed forces is very clear. Our focus is on training; we do not provide operational personnel to our customers. Burnham’s philosophy mirrors ours. They are highly professional and focused in capacitating local forces to enable them to fulfill their operational missions.’
Burnham Global complements Paramount’s technology and platforms by bringing over a decade of experience in Africa, the Middle East, and in the Levant delivering long-term training and mentoring programs for militaries and police services. Burnham’s flagship programme is in Lebanon, where for more than a decade it has provided a wide variety of training and logistical support for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF).
Primarily funded by the UK and Canadian governments, Burnham Global has trained more than 18,000 LAF soldiers on urban and rural operations, as well as overseen the construction of 78 fortifications along the Syrian border. This work has had a significant and measurable positive impact on Lebanon’s security environment; today nearly the entirety of the Lebanon-Syria border is under government control, up from just 15 percent when the project began in 2010.
Speaking about the new contract, Burnham Global Director Gary Wood commented that, ‘At Burnham Global, we are focused first and foremost on impact, and we are confident that this programme will go a long way toward improving the quality of our partner’s military. Our training, delivered exclusively by experienced British Army veterans, will ensure that it can operate in an effective and ethical manner in the field as it confronts a lethal insurgent threat.
‘Our philosophy at Burnham Global is that building lasting, sustainable capabilities within security forces is not an overnight process. We actively seek out partners, like the host nation, that are committed to longer-term programmes that include a sustained mentoring component. Our work in the Levant in particular has shown us that this mentoring has been key to improving recipient military capabilities. We have learned many valuable lessons from these projects, notably around the need for sustained engagement, and these influence the work we do in other combat theatres.’
Paramount Group presently operates several training facilities, including its specialised training facility in South Africa’s North West which trains special operators, K9 handlers and rapid intervention forces. Paramount also offers training in IED and EOD Detection, advanced life support and trauma and medical support. At its facilities at Wonderboom National Airport and Polokwane International Airport, the Group operates rotary and fixed wing training facilities, providing pilot and technical training for police and air forces.
Paramount Group is a leader in defence and security innovation and is a trusted partner to sovereign governments around the world, providing ground-breaking products, services and consultancy, including support for peacekeeping missions.
Burnham Global has for more than a decade supported a large-scale project in Lebanon that has trained more than 18,000 troops, and it has managed a variety of other skills development programmes in Jordan and across Africa. These projects have been primarily funded by the UK government, but also from governments including the United States, Canada, and Germany.