KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan (Oct. 2, 2012) -- The Afghan National Army graduated a new class of soldiers from the Regional Military Training Center-Kandahar at Camp Hero, Sept. 13.

The ceremony included 981 basic training graduates, as well as 43 officer basic course graduates. The enlisted soldiers completed 10 weeks of training, while the officer candidates completed an 8-week course.

"[The students] did very well," said Bulgarian Army Lt. Col. Ivo Ivanov, commander of the RMTC-K senior adviser team. The advisory team is part of NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan.

"The instructors had very good preparation. They only needed a little help," said Ivanov.

Ivonov and his team mentor instructors at the training center, including the basic training and officer basic course instructors. All the instructors training the students are exclusively Afghan soldiers.

The training center is well on its way to becoming self-sufficient and graduating soldiers without the help of advisers.

"The next cycle will start to work without our support," said Ivanov, describing the gradual reduction of NATO support.

Ivanov's team will soon be replaced by another Bulgarian team, slated to serve a six-month tour as the RMTC-K's last advisor team.

Most of the newly-graduated soldiers will continue their military education with specialized training at either RMTC-K or Kabul, while a select few will be assigned directly to the 205th Hero Corp here at Camp Hero.