By Lt. Brian RauMarch 12, 2010
KABUL, Afghanistan - The 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, "Triple Deuce," 1st Brigade Combat Team, assumed control of the Kabul Military Training Center from 48th Brigade Combat Team of the Georgia Army National Guard during a transfer of authority ceremony.
The KMTC is the primary training center for the Afghan National Army. It is responsible for the growth of the ANA to its stated goal of 134,000 soldiers by Oct. 31, up from the 93,000 soldiers they had last October.
The ceremony, presided over by British Brig. Gen. Simon R. Levey, commander of the Combined Training Assistance Group-Army, saw Col. Carl Quinn, commander of 48th BCT, turn over the reins to Lt. Col. Michael Loos, commander of Triple Deuce.
"The eyes of the world are on you," Levey said. "Deliver the goods."
Since Levey heads the organization that oversees all ANA training and advising, he stressed the importance of increasing the quality and quantity of the ANA soldiers.
Levey went on to say that Triple Deuce Soldiers will go a long way in assisting the ANA in "standing on its own feet," allowing the coalition to assume a reduced role.
The 48th BCT leaves KMTC having overseen several major changes. In the eight months before Triple Deuce's arrival, the ANA transitioned from the Soviet AK-47 to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization M-16 as its primary weapon system.
Additionally, basic warrior training increased by more than 100 percent. Levey noted the increased training capacity occurred seamlessly, concluding that it was a "job well done."
Through his interpreter, Brig. Gen. Ali Ahmad, Afghan KMTC commander, praised his relationship with 48th BCT and its commander and said he looks forward to his partnership with the Triple Deuce commander.
"Your legacy is your performance, and that has set us up for success," Loos said.
He then thanked the 48th BCT and promised the Triple Deuce would give "110 percent." Loos assured Ahmad, "We are here to stand next to you."
Loos then turned to his Soldiers, telling them that they have a "unique mission" and reminding them of the battalion's motto. "Deeds, not words, will allow us to complete the mission."
Now that 2-22 Infantry has completed the transition of leadership, Loos and Command Sgt. Maj. Mio Franceschi can turn their attention to synchronizing the efforts of members of the seven coalition nations who live and work at the KMTC.
KMTC is home not only to basic warrior training, but also to officer training, noncommissioned officer training and specialty skills training in such fields as logistics, communications and field medicine.
Loos emphasizes every day that the quality of the product is the key to success. There is little doubt that with the right amount of "Shohna ba Shohna" (Shoulder to Shoulder) partnership with their Afghan counterparts, that the Triple Deuce will accomplish their mission and leave the Afghan National Army a more capable fighting force.