By Sgt. Jennifer Premer, TF Lightning Support PAOApril 3, 2009
KABUL, Afghanistan - Soldiers from the Joint Logistics Command trained members of the Afghanistan National Army's Central Movement Agency on radio procedures March 23 through March 28 here.
Proper radio communications will allow the Afghan soldiers to communicate to the Tactical Operations Center, which tracks information on current operations.
The CMA is a transportation brigade responsible for transporting supplies from the headquarters throughout Afghanistan.
"Most of the students know how to turn the radio on and talk, but they don't know how to do the more complex things such as change the channel or the frequency," said Staff Sgt. Mandi Null, the Joint Logistics Command's primary radio communications trainer and a native of Yuba City, Cali.
The JLC Soldiers designed the training program using their experience and knowledge on the subject. By using detailed pictures, hands-on exercises and testing, the instruction accommodated Afghan troops who cannot read.
"Many of the Soldiers cannot read or write, so they can't simply open a book and figure out how to work the radio," said Spc. Carmen Ramos, an assistant radio trainer with the Joint logistics Command and a native of Newark, New Jersey.
The ANA Soldiers demonstrated a desire to learn and were grateful for the training they received.
"This experience is good for me because when we go on convoys, we need to know these things," said Ashur Aji Noor Ali, a member of the ANA who attended the training. "Since I got promoted, I use the radio all the time, and now I know how to do more, and I am very happy about that."
"Before [this training] I had a lot of problems with the radio, but now it's better," said Shukerullah Latfullah, a squad leader with the ANA.
In addition to learning the new material, graduates of the class are expected to teach fellow troops their new-found skills.
"There are students from each company within the brigade who attend the training; if they spread the word, it becomes a force multiplier," said Maj. Ben Kaffo, the Joint Logistics Command's Afghan National Army Partnership program chief and a native of Brooklyn, New York.
"We need guys who know how to work the radio," said Col. Fateullah Hamdast, the CMA brigade commander who described the radio as the "brain" of the Army. "I appreciate this training and want [the JLC Soldiers] to come in the future."
Following the week-long training class, the students participated in a graduation ceremony, where they received a certificate of completion for the radio course.
"We want to reach beyond the training, "said Kaffo. "The graduation is a way of instilling proper coordination into the organization and showing the troops what the Army does - reward Soldiers for their accomplishments."
The training is part of setting the conditions for the future transition of security and stability of Afghanistan back to Afghan National Army, said Kaffo. "This training will allow them to be a professional Army and to do what a professional Army does."
(The Joint Logistics Command will become part of the Joint Sustainment Command on April 4. The Army Reserve's 143d Expeditionary Sustainment Command now leads the JSC.)