Sponsored by the Turkish Army since 1933, the Kabul Military High School is considered the finest educational institution for boys ages 13 to 17 who aspire to one day join the Afghan National Army as officers. The esteemed institution focuses on preparing the cadet students for further education at university, the National Military Academy of Afghanistan, Officer Candidate School, or the United Kingdom supported Officer Academy modeled after the British Army’s officer training institution, Sandhurst.
CAMP STONE, Afghanistan – It is not easy for U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Sabrina A. Barragan, to be away from her two young children for the fourth time during her military career. It is even more challenging to work as a trainer and adviser for all matters concerning ammunition storage, issue and handling, for the Afghan National Security Forces in approximately one-fifth of Afghanistan in Regional Support Command-West.
Regional Support Command - Capital joined the Kabul Police District 5 Commander, Maj. Jawad Ahmad, for a ribbon cutting ceremony July 18. The ribbon cutting celebrates the completion of construction including a new two-story administrative and barrack facility, a new latrine facility, and Entry Control Point and utility upgrades. Pictured left to right are the RSC-C Commander, Col. Marlin Remigio, RSC-C Afghan National Police Engineer Capt. Luke Donovan, PD 5 Commander Maj. Jawad Ahmad, and the Karim Ebad Construction Company lead representative Mr. Shaker.
Qala-e-Naw, Afghanistan, 17 Jul 2012 – A total of 125 insurgents, mostly from Muqur and Qadis districts have materialized the abandonment of the armed struggle in the province of Badghis, handing their weapons over in a ceremony held today at the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) facilities, in Qala-i-Naw, capital of the Afghan province of Badghis, under Spanish responsibility.
KABUL — The Afghan National Army commissioned its Special Mission Wing during a ceremony July 18, in Kabul, with the help, cooperation and assistance of mentors, trainers and advisers from NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan’s Embedded Training Team.
CAMP MIKE SPANN, Afghanistan – Afghan National Army Maj. Gen. Mussa Wardak, the ANA surgeon general, greets doctors outside ANA hospital on Camp Shaheen, Balkh Province, July 6. The Hospital staff stood in formation while Wardak shook each doctor’s hand. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Bolinger)
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – Members of NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan’s Regional Support Command – East came together to bid farewell to their outgoing commander and welcome their new commander during a change of command ceremony June 27.
CAMP MIKE SPANN, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Army assumed responsibility for Phase 1 of a building project from the United States Army Corps of Engineers July 1 at Sheberghan Camp Moniror, Sar-e-Pol Province.
Over 1,300 soldiers joined the ranks of the Afghan National Army (ANA) after graduating from basic warrior training July 5 at the Regional Military Training Center (RMTC) in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan.
The convoy of a few dozen trucks arrived from the ANA’s National Supply Depot from Kabul with supplies to help the 215th Maiwand Corps’ operations during the annual fighting season and training at the Regional Military Training Center Southwest.
CAMP STONE, Afghanistan –The Regional Support Command- West conducted at change of command ceremony at Camp Stone July 10, making it the final change of command for all of the NTM-A Regional Support Commands.
KABUL - NATO Training Mission – The Independent Directorate of Local Governance and the General Directorate of the Afghan Geodesy and Cartography Head Office, in support of the mission at NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan, formally defined the internal borders of each district in Afghanistan, June 25, in Kabul.
Helping to build a professional army takes tremendous effort on the part of all involved and, in large measure, the progress the Afghan National Army (ANA) has made is due to the efforts of those RAF Regiment members deployed to Afghanistan.
CAMP SHORABAK, Afghanistan – Two snips of ribbon is all it took to show the Afghan National Army’s 215th Maiwand Corps had control of 73 buildings. A short ceremony formally marked the transfer here July 1.
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.
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).
Twelve Afghan electric company technicians will be better able to maintain power lines throughout southern Afghanistan after learning to safely operate electric utility trucks donated by the United States during a training course on Kandahar Airfield June 10-19.
Over 50 contractors, US military personnel, as well as German, Australian, French, Canadian and British coalition force logistics experts assigned to NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan deputy command-support operations attend a logistics training conference on Camp Eggers in Kabul, Jun. 19.
Afghan National Army Maj Gen. and Army Col. David Komar, from Deputy Commanding General-Operations, Training and Requirements, cut the ribbon during the grand opening ceremony for the newest Intense English Language Training Center (IELTC) at the National Military Academy of Afghanistan June 5.
American and coalition service members assigned to NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) participate in the invocation at the 237th United States Army Birthday celebration aboard Camp Eggers, Kabul Afghanistan, June 14.
French Army Brig. Gen. Christian Dupouy, commander, Command Training Advisory Group-Police for NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan, addresses graduates from Regional Training Center Laghman, May 23. More than 300 students graduated from RTC Laghman.
Afghan Uniform Police noncommissioned officer and literacy course graduation ceremony held at the training center. One-hundred thirty-eight AUP patrolmen became NCOs after completing the 14-week training course.
Advisors from NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan’s Counter Improvised Explosive team led the disposal mission to help train the Afghan EOD students and aide the ANA in safely detonating dangerous ordnance.
The Ministry of Defense Advisory Group (MAG) for Legal Development, consisting of coalition advisors, produced a video and a brochure May 26 to garner awareness about various jobs and positions within the legal branch of the ANA.
Part of the mission of the Officer Training Brigade (OTB) is to train, coach, and advise the Afghan National Army (ANA) instructors and staff leading the Officer Candidate School at the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC) located near Kabul, Afghanistan.
“Hand-to-hand combat teaches the women to react in the moment without a weapon and not to back down,” said Captain C.J. Farrell, one of the coalition advisors to the unit. “It can simulate fighting in a small space and helps develop skills they may need to subdue foes rather than kill them. The women of the ANA are especially placed in a vulnerable situation so the ability to defend themselves is a must.”
Afghan Brig. Gen. Abdul Raziq, the Kandahar provincial chief of police, attended an Afghan Border Police initial police training course graduation ceremony to support the newest ABP patrolmen in southern Afghanistan, May 31.
As the Afghan National Army (ANA) grows and trains to combat the Taliban insurgency, it is also taking aim at another equally insidious enemy confronting the nation—disease. The Armed Forces Academy of Medical Sciences (AFAMS) delivers a Preventative Medicine (PMED) Technician program and is training personnel to check for potential health hazards at military and police facilities throughout the nation.
More than 20 Afghan Corps of Engineer Soldiers recently participated in a two-week, coalition force training course in Kabul.
The course covered basic barrier building, engineering theories and ended with a practical exercise in which the Afghans joined coalition trainers in constructing a portable all-purpose Mabey logistic support bridge.
National War College students visited the Regional Support Command-East where they met with key leaders, foreign affairs officials and senior military commanders to study first-hand their security concerns, military capabilities and perceptions of U.S. policy, May 13.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior held an Afghan National Police Conference, to highlight the capabilities of the ANP in preparation of the transition in 2014, May 3 at the Afghan Ministry of Interior.
CAMP MIKE SPANN, Afghanistan – An Afghan National Army led convoy supported by members of the German Operational Mentor & Liaison Team delivers supplies to Forward Operating Base Kunduz May 6. The convoy was the first run by ANA Corps Logistics Battalion and carried food, humvee trailers and forklifts.
CAMP MIKE SPANN, Afghanistan -- The last Afghan Border Police class to graduate with NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan mentors at Regional Training Center Sheberghan, Jawzian, consisted of 122 students who completed the course May 17.
The Morehead English Language Training Center (MELTC) on Camp Morehead completed their transition mission, turning over the English Language program in the School of Excellence to the Afghans in a ceremony May 16.
Members of NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan and Germans from Operation Military Liaison Team deployed to Camp Spann tour Kahli Jangi, the massive fort where CIA agent Mike Spann was killed by al Qaida forces in 2001. The troops were at the fort inspecting the Mike Spann Memorial for damage May 12. Spann was the first American killed in Afghanistan at the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. James Bolinger)
The Facility Engineer section at Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC) took ownership of base maintenance May 22. This marks a significant step forward on the road to a self sustaining Afghanistan National Army (ANA) and the reduced reliance on coalition forces support at KMTC.
After three months of rigorous training in the intense heat of an Afghan summer, 142 Afghan National Civil Order Police recruits gathered at National Police Training Center Wardak to celebrate their accomplishments during a graduation ceremony Aug. 24.
Afghan Local Police from Khas Uruzgan District in Uruzgan Province repelled Taliban insurgents during a patrol of Hoseyni village. As the one-year anniversary of the birth of the Afghan Local Police nears, many rural districts have seen considerable security and economic improvements because of the new police force.
KABUL - The Eighth Annual Sergeants Major Conference, an event held to train and set goals for the senior enlisted personnel of the Afghan National Army, was held at Kabul Military Training Center, July 10-13.
The National Military Academy of Afghanistan, the Afghan National Army degree-granting officer’s training academy, held an Affirmation Ceremony in honor of its third graduating class in Kabul, Afghanistan, March 14.
Afghan National Army NCO candidates swear an oath to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at Ghazi Military Training Center in a ceremony held 3 Feb 2011. The present class consists of 400 Afghan soldiers; the oath ceremony takes place in the mid-point of the 8-week course. The turkish army is responsible for the advanced NCO training, providing 9 officers, 9 NCOs and 9 specialist sergents working shoulder to shoulder with 9 officers and 26 NCOs of the ANA.
KABUL, Afghanistan – Kabul Melli, a local industry success story, has delivered nearly 200,000 pairs of boots to both the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police.
Signed to an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, Melli makes and delivers boots in response to Afghan National Security Force needs.
Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology Mr. Malcolm Ross O’Neill visited their factory for a first-hand look at their products and processes, Jan. 16.
“Our first emphasis is always on meeting the needs of our forces,” O’Neill said. “However, we will continue to leverage our contracting efforts in pursuit of job creation and development of the local manufacturing economy. The goal is to locate existing Afghan companies in key manufacturing sectors that can provide the skills and goods we need. Ultimately, our objective is to provide the impetus for a self-sustaining Afghan economy that provides better opportunities for its citizens."
By G. A. Volb
KABUL, Afghanistan – The dingy-yellow structure sat 50-feet off the main highway with two stories of classrooms darkened due to a lack of light fixtures – heavily-armed guards patrolled the grounds protecting grade schoolers attending the school.
From the windows peered the faces of children, preteen and older, girls and boys, all willing to risk their lives for a better future through education. The local Afghan National Civil Order Police contingent, willing to do its part to ensure the school’s success, arrived with thousands of dollars worth of school supplies.
What began as a community relations venture between coalition mentors and their Afghan National Civil Order Police counterparts in April, now stood ready to go nationwide following donations to the school here Oct. 7.
ANCOP representatives handed out pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, glue sticks, and crayons to the student population of Amir Dost Muhammad Khanmore. It was the first of its kind, according to coalition mentors, since the entire program was planned and executed by Kabul’s Afghan Civil Order Police.
Such ventures by Afghan National Security Force components look to make a difference in communities, build relationships and improve their own credibility among citizens.
“We began the program seven months ago,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Brian Garbinski, senior enlisted advisor to ANCOP, “but this trip marked the first executed entirely by the civil order police. They’re essentially self-sufficient now.”
Garbinski said they try to make up to three visits to different provinces delivering school supplies and clothing each month, but always stop by the Amir Dost School because they consider it ground zero for the program.
ANCOP Commander Maj. Gen. Mohamed Sharif Amin wants to see “every student with, not just one notebook for all of their courses, but one for each class.
“Our people, especially the students, are always happy to receive school supplies that help further their education,” said Sharif, “but we’re also delivering clothing, medical supplies and food when we can. I want to see similar efforts in Gardez, Herat, Kandahar and Helmand too, not just Kabul.”
First-grader Sirya wasn’t quite sure what to make of all the goodies being dropped off at her school as she stood on a ledge behind a broken window screen – but she knew what she likes.
“I like the notebooks,” the six year old said shyly, fingers in her mouth, “and the pencils too.”
Her reaction was typical of the children, and exactly what ANCOP was hoping for.
“This shows the people of Afghanistan that ANCOP cares about their future,” said Garbinski, originally from Union, New Jersey. “Such programs help build trust and respect between both parties.”
As the students ran off into their classes, their hands full of supplies, smiles could be seen from behind the warped, discolored windows of the school house. A simple gesture by ANCOP had, seemingly, made a difference in the lives of the people they serve.
Afghan First initiatives paying off for ANSF
By G. A. Volb
CAMP EGGERS, Afghanistan – The International Security Assistance Force initiative of going Afghan First regarding contracts is paying off with newly established local factories turning out goods in support of security forces, while employing hundreds.
Kabul’s Safi Apparel Corporation is one such success story, employing 700 locally and producing up to 100,000 Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police and Afghan National Civil Order Police uniforms per month. Fifty percent of its workforce is women.
“Most companies excelled rapidly through the learning curve to achieve very high standards as rated by the Clemson Apparel Research Institute and Natick Soldier Center Team who have recently conducted an assessment of the Afghan Military Apparel Industry,” said Army Col. Anthony Pelczynski, NTM-A’s chief of acquisitions and contract management.
It’s a win-win situation, as far as he’s concerned, as security forces are provided quality equipment and businesses have the chance to “participate in the growth of the new Afghanistan.”
“The manufacturers know how important it is to deliver a quality product that meets specifications, on time and on cost,” the colonel emphasized. The program is successful due to a combined effort between Afghan Ministries of Interior and Defense, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan and Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan.
“Expectation management and open communications between the government and the manufacturers are important to the development of the industries and economy as a whole,” offered Pelczynski. Like elsewhere in a global economy, businesses have to offer quality products at an affordable price.
Safi’s ability to compete for business, according to its 32-year-old General Manager Abdul, hinges on its ability to stay competitive; the challenges he faces now are in securing the raw materials needed to make the uniforms. Currently these materials come from the U.S., Pakistan, and China, but he’d prefer to obtain them here in Afghanistan.
“It takes us about two hours to produce one full standard uniform set,” Abdul offered with obvious pride is his voice. Pelczynski thinks he knows why Safi employees are proud of what they do.
“Their workers are very much aware that these uniforms and other clothing items are for their brothers, fathers, uncles and sisters who serve in the security forces across the country,” said Pelczynski, a 1983 graduate of Virginia Tech.
“It also shows they take pride in producing quality uniforms for the men and women who provide security for their country,” said Air Force Capt. Danilo Dingle Jr., program manager for the uniforms branch. “It gives Afghan security forces Esprit de Corps, an identity, something they’re proud to wear every time they put on their uniform.” Safi, however, is far from leveling off.
“They all look forward to the opportunities to find new markets that build upon their capacity, efficiency and high-quality standards that have become their trademark,” said Pelczynski. To realize these opportunities, companies must do several things.
“The companies must have a long-range plan to find new markets and other opportunities to at least sustain, if not grow, their production beyond the ANSF orders,” said Pelczynski. “They must look out for the welfare of their work force. The initial orders are very large in order to meet the high demands of initial issues, but as we reach our goal of a fully trained ANSF, the requirements will become sustain quantity buys over time. Cost, schedule and performance are the important factors we are emphasizing in our programs.”
“I’m amazed at how they continue to look forward, toward improving and advancing their business opportunities,” added Dingle, a Sacramento State graduate assigned to the Pentagon’s Air National Guard Bureau when not deployed. “They have invested in different manufacturing machines to handle additional production capacity and to expand beyond uniform production -- they’re looking at markets outside of Afghanistan.”
By G. A. Volb
CAMP EGGERS, Afghanistan – Women-owned and operated businesses supporting Afghan National Security Forces here have signaled gender empowerment, social progress and improved industrial infrastructure.
For 29-year-old Angela, deputy managing director of Sarco Abad, it’s a bit more than a job. While the company produces some 64 products --from sleeping bags to socks -- and plans on growing from 12 employees to more than 200 in the near future, she has a far greater goal in mind.
“Our mission is to empower all women and children,” she said with pride. “Especially in rural areas where there is very little in the way of classes for women; we want to teach them the law, about human rights and skills they can use in life.”
But first things first, as Angela knows her goals won’t be realized unless the business succeeds in meeting customer demands for quality, quantity and timeliness. Despite the seriousness of her business in today’s Afghanistan, highlighted by a small army of security personnel dotting the factory landscape, they’re making the most of the opportunity.
“We’re having fun,” the well-spoken Angela said, “but as is the case with any business, it’s difficult in the beginning while we’re still developing our strategies, our plans to succeed and to expand. It’s very important that we focus on the quality of materials, produce products acceptable to our customers, and that we meet their deadlines for delivery.”
It was in August that the group of women put their plans into motion after being awarded one of three women-owned business contracts from Kabul Regional Contracting Contingency. Such successes are the culmination of initiatives from ISAF’s Afghan First Policy, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan and Combined Security Assistance Command – Afghanistan’s local acquisition program management team, and the Central Command’s Contracting Command.
NTM-A’s chief of acquisitions and contract management agrees that Angela and her company face certain challenges, but not insurmountable ones.
“Entrepreneurs who take up the challenge have to work extremely hard to adopt new manufacturing infrastructure and processes to produce products that meet our demand for quality as well as affordability,” said Army Col. Anthony Pelczynski, a 1983 graduate of Virginia Tech. “Many companies are now building brand new facilities or significantly upgrading existing facilities, purchasing new equipment and hiring new work forces to meet the demand for locally produced commodities for the ANSF.
“There is a new spirit of optimism in these factories and facilities,” he continued. “The large orders we place for items such as uniforms, boots and other individual clothing items to meet the rapid fielding of the ANSF enables the businesses to cover a lot of the risks associated with new starts. It is the first step to self sufficiency. “
Pelczynski also pointed out there are collateral benefits associated with these contracts. As requirements transition from initial fielding to sustainment rate quantities, the companies will have the resources and skills to branch out – to develop new markets and new opportunities with reduced risks.
“Some even invest in local vocational education centers to develop people with the specific skill sets needed to operate and sustain their business; skills required include accounting, program management, production control and quality inspections, plant facility management, and information management,” said Pelczynski. “Some manufacturers are starting to offer literacy classes, child care, and meals for their employees. This is very progressive management.”
Both NTM-A and CSTC-A want to encourage positive examples like this, companies who manage their assets and human resources with exceptional results. It’s hoped that over time this positive movement will permeate and lift up a culture and people who have been in an armed struggle for over 30 years.
And that fits right into Angela and the rest of her management team’s plans, as they’re already preparing for the future when the company will diversify and offer programs that benefit her employees and Afghanistan society as a whole.
“We’ve spent a long time in war, so there are a lot of women in Afghanistan who are uneducated,” said 19-year-old female manager Arzoo. “In fact, many don’t even know their own religion or what their rights are under Islam -- so education is a priority. If we’re able to educate them, they will educate their children and the rest of their family; and that will make for a better Afghanistan.