KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- After six weeks of training and exercises, over 100 Afghan National Army soldiers from the 205th Corps received their graduation certificates, July 5, during the Eagle Strike Company graduation ceremony at Camp Hero.
Eagle Strike Company is a newly established quick reaction force unit that the 205th Corps resourced themselves from soldiers throughout their four brigades.
"[The company] is designed to be used to take back overrun check points and district centers that are under attack," said U.S. Army Maj. Danny Zimmer, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade advisor. "[These soldiers] can be inserted in these locations via aircraft or by ground with minimal planning."
Zimmer, the officer in charge of the Regional Military Training Center-Kandahar advisor team officer-in-charge, said he and his team of advisors from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, trained and advised the Afghan soldiers during the past six weeks.
During the ceremony Afghan Army Brig. Gen. Abdul Rahman Parwani, 205th Corps deputy commander, thanked the advisors for their time and effort.
"The Eagle Company training that was arranged by our American advisors and counterparts was productive and I appreciate them for that," said Parwani. "To the soldiers of the company, remember that you are most effective when you are united as members of one family and that will make this company successful."
In addition to honing their basic soldier skills, the Afghan soldiers were also provided advanced and company-level collective skills, including combat lifesaver, communication, night vision, air assault, explosive and mortar training. A select few also received sniper training.
According to Zimmer, the Afghan brigades selected their best soldiers to attend the training.
"We started with a large group of soldiers, and unlike most cycles, this one was a selection and assessment," explained Zimmer. "None of these soldiers have ever worked together before, and after six weeks, we took these groups of soldiers and turned them into what they are today, Eagle Strike Company."
The creation of Eagle Strike Company will strengthen the 205th Corps combat capability and help them maintain an offensive posture.
"These [soldiers] are not commandos, they have not received commando training, but they have received more in-depth training than any other tolay [company] in the 205th Corps," said Zimmer "[This] provides the corps commander a company he can task to do difficult missions without pulling combat power from his brigades."
Parwani expressed how proud he is of the Eagle Strike Company soldiers and praised the skills they will bring to the corps.
"We have faith that you will be able to accomplish your duties [as Eagle Strike Company]," said Parwani. "I am very happy with the faith, unity, friendship and brotherhood you have built, and please continue with your lessons and training."
Zimmer added that being part of the process of helping establish the company was a great opportunity for him and his team.
"These soldiers will be able to better shoot, move and communicate and it's an honor to be able to do this and allow the 205th Corps and the Afghan National Army the ability to apply military pressure against the Taliban in order to force them to reconcile," said Zimmer.