As the Afghan National Army (ANA) moves forward to assume a greater role in providing security for the nation, one of the more interesting facets of this transition is the role of the non-commissioned officer (NCO) in the ANA. Barely a decade ago, the history of the Afghan military was steeped in the old Soviet army top-down-style of leadership.
The latest evidence of the ANA embracing the role of the NCO is the June consolidation of all the NCO training at its premier facility, the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC). Endorsed by the Ministry of Defense, the change involves shifting large numbers of NCO trainees along with the officers and staff of the NCO Training Brigade (NTB), previously housed at Camp Gazhi, to new accommodations at KMTC.
The NTB headquarters and six companies of the special NCO “One Uniform” Course now will join the other specialized NCO courses in the KMTC training curricula. The other courses include such specialties as Battle Staff, the NCO Command Course and Team Leader Course.
“Back in March, it was decided that the NTB would no longer be the responsibility of the Afghan National Defense University, but would fall under KMTC,” explained Maj. James Molloy, the Canadian NTB Advisor. “Moving the One Uniform Course to KMTC is part of the general consolidation of training in the ANA that KMTC Brig. Gen. [Aminullah] Patyani requested to further streamline the command and control of ANA training.”
Molloy said that the change was initiated and executed by the ANA, and that among the benefits of the transition is that “it will allow others at KMTC to view the NTB training and compare their methods with other courses such as the Officer Training, Special Skills and other advanced training. Plus, it will give the KMTC officers more direct oversight from the headquarters and easier coordination for the Brigade itself.”
While the change was decided upon earlier this year, the actual execution was delayed until June when the facilities to house the NTB were opened. Like dominos lined up, the move needed the barracks to be completed and then for power and water to be supplied to them. ANA Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Sher Mohammad Karimi opened the new four-story barracks as part of the “Phase 3” construction completion in June.
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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