KABUL, Afghanistan, Nov. 1, 2006 - The speaker of the Afghan National Assembly's Lower House visited the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC) Oct. 31 to get a first-hand look at Afghan soldier training.

Mohammad Yonus Qanooni toured the KMTC and watched classroom training and live-fire training on rifle ranges, allowing him to gauge the current state of training and readiness.

"I am proud of being a witness of a positive change," said Qanooni. "I can see the Ministry of Defense officials and the KMTC instructors are training Afghan National Army soldiers and noncommissioned officers to high standards."

Qanooni expressed his appreciation for the support provided by Coalition nations for the training of the Afghan soldiers.

The expertise of the American, French, German, Italian and Canadian instructors and mentors is key to developing a professional and capable fighting force able to defend Afghanistan , said Qanooni.

"Afghanistan needs a qualified Army to answer the terrorists who still pose a big threat for the country's peace and prosperity," Qanooni said. "This Army is the hope of the Afghan people."