Train the trainers part of preparing ANA for transition
September 19, 2013
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- In a maintenance bay filled with sand-colored trucks, Afghan soldiers had the hoods open and the wrenches turning Sept. 12, 2013, at Forward Operating Base Pasab, Afghanistan.
Security Force Assistance Team 3204 with 3rd Squadron, Combined Task Force Dragoon, continues their partnership with the Afghan National Army's 5th Kandak, 3rd Brigade, 205th Corps.
Civilian contractors work with the team to develop the skills needed for the ANA to perform basic operations as a unit. The contractors have implemented a course, Outfitter Academy, designed to teach and certify the soldiers on a number of skills that allow them to take their knowledge back to their unit and instruct others on how to perform operations effectively.
"We developed this 'Outfitter Academy' based on the requests of the Afghan National Army," said U.S. Army Maj. Curt A. Hinton from Peoria, Ill., and team chief of SFAT 3204. "I'm very proud of how they are receiving it and how they are retaining it. That means they want to get things right and I'm honored to be a part of that."
The maintenance advisor for the team, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Albert Granville from Rochester, N.Y., advises the ANA mechanics on the upkeep of military equipment. He has built a rapport with the Afghan repairmen.
"I developed a kinship with the mechanics quite rapidly," said Granville. "They are definitely mechanically inclined and they are able to fix a multitude of stuff. They also have welding capabilities, metal fabrication and the ability to fix weapons and communications."
The soldiers who work as mechanics for the 5th Kandak are not limited to fixing only vehicles. They are in the process of developing and enhancing the skills necessary to maintain weapons and communications.
One of the goals of the academy is to create a standard for proper instruction within the realm of military education for the soldiers. The class has been built around the different ability levels and cultural values of each of the soldiers who are being trained.
The advisors with the team attend the classes during the week with the Afghan soldiers in order to have the ability to assist with skill development.
"We have 35 soldiers going through an intensive course to teach to Afghans at their competency level that is respectful," said Hinton. "Our advisors sit in and receive the class as we develop the train the trainer model."
As the partnership continues, the group builds on their relationship with the ANA. The team exercises courtesy and civility in order to facilitate association and correspondence.
"Everything we do is based on our partnership," said Hinton. "The Afghans respect us and we respect them as well. We are friends and I think that makes the communication much better."