Photo By Capt. Paul Wyckoff | An Afghan National Army soldier from the Route Clearance Company (RCC), 3rd Bde, 205th Corps stands next to his target at an M-16 training range Jan. 21, 2013. The Afghan RCC has recently begun independent operations. (Photo courtesy Task Force Outlaw Public Affairs)
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KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Army (ANA) forces working as partners with the 1433rd Engineer Company are now conducting independent route clearance operations as part of their normal duties to keep roads safer in Afghanistan.
Recently, the Route Clearance Company (RCC) of the ANA’s 3rd Brigade, 205th Corps has started conducting route clearance missions on their own. While occasionally, they still travel with the 1433rd Engineer Company, their missions are now almost exclusively conducted independently.
Sgt. Joshua Rose, a member of the 1433rd En. Co. and ANA liaison, says this is a good thing as it allows their teams, along with the ANA RCC, to work on different areas and cover more miles of roads in Southern Afghanistan.
Recently, the ANA RCC and 2nd Platoon, 1433rd En. Co., conducted live fire training on the ANA RCC’s M16 rifles and M240B machine guns. “Everyone was surprised at how accurate their shot groups were at the range” Rose said of the Afghan soldiers. He also remarked, “the two days of crew served weapons training went very well. Their level of training was comparable to U.S. troops.”
“With the ANA at such a high level of training, and independently conducting route clearance on basic routes, it is more difficult for them to find time to embed in our missions” Rose said.
Given the ongoing drawdown of U.S. and Western forces in Afghanistan, Rose stated that, “it will be imperative that the ANA forces have learned as much as possible before we depart. It is good that they are already showing such promise.”
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This work, ANA moves toward independent operations, by CPT Paul Wyckoff, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.