News: ANA soldiers learn basics of COIN
Story by Lance Cpl. Jeremy Fasci
Soldiers from the Afghan National Army’s 215th Corps participated in a counterinsurgency course at Camp Shorabak, Aug. 16-18.
The course taught by the COIN Advisory Assistance Team includes basic principles of counterinsurgency tactics and the root cause of an insurgency.
“With this counterinsurgency mindset we are able to focus more on the culture and understand what is really causing the problems in this country,” said Army 2nd Lt. Jonathan Meyers, a counterinsurgency instructor with the CAAT.
A brief history of the Taliban was taught during the course. The history showed the ANA soldiers how a counterinsurgency thrives. They can take that knowledge and use it to find ways to counter the Taliban.
Gaining the trust and support of the locals is an important part of fighting an insurgency. Soldiers are taught that there is no end to an insurgency without the support of the people.
“With this counterinsurgency mindset you are able to interact with the culture and understand them better thus you are not making enemies,” said Meyers, 24, from San Antonio. “The people will be more willing to protect you and cooperate with you in the future.”
Skits were used to help soldiers retain information. Role-playing helped keep the soldiers focused and motivated after sitting through long classes.
“We basically have an interactive skit that allows a visual representation of how an insurgency is built and how we as a coalition force partnered with the ANA and ANP can take that insurgency out by exercising the counterinsurgency fundamentals,” Meyers said.
This type of training helps members of the ANSF better interpret what is being taught. The difference in languages does not allow everything to be translated exactly as it is intended.
The training also allowed ANSF leadership to pass the knowledge to their subordinates. The system can be taught by any soldier at any level in any type of training environment. This allows soldiers to return to their kandaks (battalions) and teach their peers.
Faqer, a soldier in the course with the ANA’s 215th Corps, said the training needs to be passed on to all the recruits that come through the training center at Camp Shorabak.
The ease at which information is passed helps the CAAT team accomplish its mission.
“We have mobile training teams all over the country so our goal is to teach as many soldiers, coalition and Afghan national security forces alike,” Meyers added.