News: ANA combat engineers accelerate tactics, procedures
Story by Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Sierra
BALKH PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Afghan National Army combat engineers learned the latest counter improvise explosive device techniques and procedures from the U.S. Army Embedded Training Team-3.
The Embedded Training Team from Task Force Roughneck shared specialized explosive clearing skills to supplement the ANA 3rd/209th Route Clearance Company’s basic knowledge.
“They have their own military standards and training,” said U.S. Army Spc. Mark Ledford a combat engineer with the Embedded Training Team-3. “They usually question our new techniques. We explain, demonstrate and have them try it. After a while, we see them incorporate what we taught in their missions saying it was better and safer. It works.”
“Some of them have a lot of experience and knowledge,” explained U.S. Army Sgt. Larry McClanahan a combat engineer with the ETT-3. “We get them to help their buddies. We’ll teach them something new and make them be the instructors. When they learn to think as a team, they’ll be very successful.”
McClanahan said it’s the Embedded Training Team-3’s goal to have ANA soldiers teach ANA soldiers with his team only as observers. He also said, at this point, the ANA still use the Embedded Training Team’s support to learn how to use their new equipment.
“I am able to teach others what I have learned,” said ANA Sgt. Habibullah, a combat engineer with the 3rd/209th Route Clearance Company. “We are happy they are training us. There are many things we must learn. There are weapons, robots and devices we need more training on.”
Habibullah said his fellow soldiers come from different parts of Afghanistan. He said they all agree the knowledge and skills are valuable.
“It’s been rewarding to see them learn new skills,” said U.S. Army Spc. Nathaniel Mitchell, a combat engineer with the Embedded Training Team-3. “Any worthy soldier wants to pass along some bit of knowledge and skills picked up over the years. The ANA are the good guys. When I’m home, I want to know the good guys have a little bit more to stay alive and win.”