Kabul Military Training Center Public Affairs
For the past year, when it comes to Afghanistan, the emphasis in the news has largely been on the gradual withdrawal of foreign forces as the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) assume control of the nation’s protection. At the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC), that reduction has already begun.
In a special June ceremony in the marbled KMTC auditorium, 80 Coalition advisors from four nations were individually thanked by Brigadier-General Aminullah Patyani, the KMTC Commander, for their efforts in helping to build the Afghan National Army (ANA).
“This is the first stage of the transition at KMTC,” Col. Peter J. Williams, commander of the KMTC Training Assistance Group, noted in opening the convocation. “I thank General Patyani whose idea it was to mark this occasion.”
Patyani, who was the first KMTC commander to have graduated from the training facility, stressed that KMTC “was not like this 10 years ago, and I want to thank everyone for your support and what together we have built here.” Recalling the lack of facilities in the beginning, he praised the expansion and variety of courses now available at KMTC, particularly the non-commissioned officer training that “has helped make our army more professional.”
Singling out the Greek contingent in particular, he thanked them for their service and the mutual respect the ANA and Greek soldiers held for each other. Expanding on that theme, he thanked all the Coalition advisers not only for their sensitivity to Afghanistan’s religious and cultural heritage, but also for “respecting the policies and regulations of the ANA and KMTC.”
Patyani assured his audience of nearly 200, “Afghanistan’s people will remember your service. Our country has a history of hospitality and we will return to resolving issues peacefully in the future. I have visited other nations, and I realized that the enemy is not just the enemy of Afghanistan, but of all nations. So we were glad to join the fight. But the goal remains the same—to establish and keep the peace.”
Afterwards, in separate flag-lowering ceremony at Camp Alamo, the Coalition establishment co-located with KMTC, the Greek Commander, Lt. Col. Stravopodis Charalampos thanked the Coalition colleagues for their support and friendship.
Col. Williams also paid tribute to the contribution of the Greek contingent. “All of us have studied history, and we are well aware that Greece is known as the birthplace of democracy,” he said, thanking them for helping to bring democratic principles to Afghanistan and for the ANSF.
NTM-A is a coalition of 38 troop-contributing nations charged with assisting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in generating a capable and sustainable Afghan National Security Force ready to take lead of their country’s security by 2014. For more information about NTM-A, visit www.ntm-a.com.
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