KABUL, Afghanistan – The Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) Senior Enlisted Adviser, Command Chief Master Sgt. Todd Small, made the trek to Kabul for a symposium to meet with some of the top 100 noncommissioned officers in Afghanistan, from the Afghan National Security Forces and coalition forces, to help the transition process, as Afghans take over the security operations and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) prepares to provide more of a training and support role.
The conference, which was about bringing together Afghanistan’s top movers and shakers, focused on the synergy between senior noncommissioned officers and how best they can network, share best practices and maintain a good rapport with their Afghan colleagues.
One of the featured guests for the Senior Enlisted Leaders Conference, Command Master Sgt. Todd Small, the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe senior enlisted adviser, said that it is very impressive that Afghan’s top enlisted leader, Sgt. Maj. Sarif Roshan, is not only facing a war, but is leading at a time when his nation is just beginning to establish itself, is also building an army from the ground up.
“When senior enlisted leaders come together and hear the sincere words from Sgt. Maj. Roshan, his words are passionate and meaningful,” Small said. “It comes across that we have shared values and shared desires. We are indebted to have the opportunity to serve beside you, Sgt. Maj. Roshan.”
“You are working to release your nation from the suffocating grip of an insurgency,” Small said.
Small shared testimonies about Command Sgt. Maj. Capel with the Afghan and coalition forces leaders emphasizing how ISAF is in very good hands with Capel.
“There is nothing more important in NATO than ISAF. We’ve lobbied hard for Afghanistan to help ensure we follow through, as we have been working hard for the past 12 years. I can’t imagine a better leader to have the heart of a soldier than Command Sgt. Maj. Capel. That is why we, at SHAPE, know ISAF is in superb hands,” he said.
Small continued, pointing out how much experience and diversity was in the room.
“As I look at all the flags on the sleeves in this room, I see that it is all about international commitment. We have learned so many lessons as a coalition.,” he said. “It is a privilege to me to be here among you. I too will be doing a lot of listening and learning. I am excited to hear all the leaders here speak.”
The first in a series of symposiums, the meeting concluded with Small stating that on behalf of NATO and SHAPE, he wished to thank Command Sgt. Maj. Capel for his leadership in inviting the top enlisted leaders to come together and said this is a great opportunity to leverage the knowledge and wisdom that is present for the symposium.
“No nation goes to war unilaterally. No nation goes to war easily,” he said. “We’re all here for a reason. There are so many lessons we have learned as a coalition. Now, it’s really about our continued resolve and seeing this through. Our coming together here like this, as a coalition, with NATO and key nations present to work effectively beside our fellow Afghan leaders is important and valuable.”
Small assured Afghan’s top enlisted leader present for the conference that there was great resolve to follow through and continue to support, train and assist the ANSF in the future.
“We are transitioning and setting the conditions for the ANSF to take over the security of their nation and defeat the insurgents who have had a suffocating grip on this nation,” he said.
This work, SHAPE senior enlisted adviser visits Kabul for conference with top leaders, by SFC Bruce Cobbeldick, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.