Story by Staff Sgt. Christopher Harper
HQ ISAF Public Affairs
With hundreds of recent graduates from the Kabul Military Training Center’s advanced professional development courses such as the Battle Staff and Literacy course, Jan. 3, and the Sergeants Major Academy graduation Dec. 12, the Afghan National Army is focused on increasing the quality of their leaders and soldiers.
Not only has the ANA now reached a force of 187,000, but more importantly they can now concentrate on raising the training standards to ensure the future success of their forces and ability to protect Afghanistan, said ANA Brig. Gen. Aminullah Patyani, the KMTC commander.
“We are also seeing more educated recruits, urged on by their families to join the ANA, including many women,” said Patyani. “If you’re talking about progress… this is great progress.”
Meeting in Patyani’s office at KMTC overlooking hundreds of Afghan soldiers marching in parade formations, the International Security Assistance Force Deputy Commander, British Army Lt. Gen. Nick Carter, met with longtime friend, Patyani, responsible for training the future ANA leaders and soldiers.
Carter was an honorary guest at a ceremony held for recent graduates from the center’s Battle Staff and Literary instructor’s course. The noncommissioned officers who graduated will go on to be instructors at the training center.
“In the past, the training center was run by our coalition mentors,” Patyani told Carter. “Today, thanks to our great NCO corps, we run the center mostly on our own.”
Speaking to the graduates and the attendees at the ceremony, Carter said, “We can all look forward with great confidence to the way in which the ANA will be able to secure the people of Afghanistan from 2014 onward.”
Like Patyani, Carter gave credit to the ANA noncommissioned officer corps for its part in carrying the ANA into the future.
“The key to a professional army as good as the Afghan National Army is, of course, the leadership and its non commissioned officer corps,” said Carter. “An army is only effective if it has a good noncommissioned officer corps.”
Carter pointed out that it is the NCO who is closest to the soldiers and responsible for their safety and training.
“That is why I can think of no more important course than one that graduates NCOs for the Afghan National Army,” said Carter.
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