KABUL PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Shir Mohammed Karimi, the general staff chief of Operations for the Afghan National Army, visited a military training base outside Kabul to witness the Afghan National Army Special Forces current capabilities and meet with coalition forces and commandos, April 23.
While still young as a force within the ANA, the commandos are considered one of the most elite military forces in Afghanistan. The commandos conduct training similar to U.S. Army Ranger School. Once a commando, they can also try out for special forces, which are both trained at the same camp.
The ANASF are a national asset employed to accomplish operational and strategic objectives. Their core tasks include stability operations, counterinsurgency, offensive operations, internal defense missions, raid missions, target interdiction, cordon and search operations, close target reconnaissance and information operations. They can be deployed independently or in support of other forces and trained to operate in politically, culturally and religiously sensitive environments.
“We fight, live, eat and breathe next to these men every day,” said Lt. Col. William Linn, Special Operations Task Force-East Commander. “They are the face of the Ministry of Defense and the future of Afghanistan.”
The commandos selection process is rigorous and not for those faint of heart.
“We select men throughout Afghanistan,” said Gen. Karimi. “They must pass certain tests and possess specific qualities and talent for the commando mission.”
Gen. Dempsey made his way down a formation, personally speaking to each soldier on the team and pressing a coin for excellence into a select few hands.
“Thanks for what you are doing,” said Gen. Dempsey. “Keep it up, God bless you and your families.”