By 1st Lt. Cari ButlerSeptember 29, 2012
TARIN KOT, Afghanistan -With his smooth dialect and comfortable manner, any bystander might think that he had been teaching for years. In the middle of this hot Ramazan day, full of energy and excitement, Sgt. Wakil of 3rd Kandak, 4th Brigade, 205th Afghan National Army Corps, was making history at Patrol Base Musaza'i, July 30, 2012.
Surprisingly, he has only been instructing for a couple of weeks for the newly developed Afghan National Security Forces Mobile Training Team in the Mirabad Valley Region of Uruzgan, Afghanistan. Wakil was trained during a three week qualification program at Patrol Base Wali in order to deliver training to Afghans in four selected areas: conduct of a weapons range and marksmanship training, all corps search, introduction to navigation and first aid training.
"I became a teacher to teach the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police so in the future they will help their country and provide security for Afghanistan and their people," said Wakil.
Wakil works under the mentorship of the Security Forces Advisory Team of Uruzgan Province. The mobile training team in the Mirabad Valley Region is lead by 1st Lt. Joseph Carman, 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment Task Group.
"The team consists of ANA soldiers and ANP officers selected by their commanders to receive instructor training so they can push out to checkpoints and patrols bases," said Carman, "thus, developing a capability here in the Mirabad Valley Region that sees ANSF colleagues training one another.
The local Afghan leadership identified the areas they want to see their men trained up in.
"The instructors have received training in several corps areas that have been identified by their commanders," said Carman, "so they are very much focusing on skill sets that will ensure the survival of their soldiers and police officers out here deployed in this areas and importantly they are training them up as instructors so that once the coalition forces move on from these areas, there is a capability here that can carry on their work."
With the ever looming IED threat in Afghanistan these MTTs are critical in getting the training to the soldiers and police at the lowest level.
"The insurgents are putting IEDs in the roads and some are [detonating] on the local Afghan vehicles as well as the ANA and ANP," Wakil said, "we need to learn a lot about IEDs in Afghanistan since most of the ANA and ANP are killed because of IEDs. I am teaching them about the different kinds of IEDs and how to find and [destroy] them."
According to Wakil, the ANSF students are very receptive to the training conducted by his team.
"I think the soldiers and police students are very intelligent; they are learning and I like that when I am teaching something they are asking questions about it," said Wakil, "the relationship between the Afghan security forces is very good, sometimes the police come to the class at the ANA patrol base and sometimes the soldiers go to the police checkpoint to learn and study in one class and they learn together like brothers."
The positive relationship between the Afghan security forces is clearly seen.
"They have responded very well, I think they enjoy the interaction between themselves and their instructors and they appreciate the fact that it's their ANSF colleagues delivering the training," said Carman, "the relationship between the ANA and ANP has been essential in getting this program off the ground, without a strong working relationship between commanders at all levels, this program wouldn't have the support that it does and it wouldn't have achieved the success that it has."
Coalition mentors and Afghan leaders are satisfied that the new team gives the ownership of training and developing the operational viability of security back to the police and the army. It's an important step forward in ANSF capability and it allows them to continue to train themselves and develop as the coalition emphasis refocuses from the tactical to the higher level enablers. The mobile training team provides a glimpse of hope as the transition progresses into a more independent Afghanistan.
"The transition is happening in Afghanistan, after this the ANSF will be responsible for providing security in this country," said Wakil, "it is our duty to take care of the people 24 hours a day both the ANA and ANP."