Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Or login with Facebook
    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    Afghan commando spearheads transition efforts



    Story by Staff Sgt. Bruce Cobbeldick 

    International Security Assistance Force HQ Public Affairs

    Morehead Commando Training Center, Afghanistan – Senior enlisted leaders from the Afghan National Army and Coalition Special Operations Forces joined Afghan Command Sgt. Maj. Fiaz Wafa for a conference that tackled how the Afghan Army plans to manage operations once security transitions from the coalition forces to the ANSF, in 2014.

    At the forefront stands an extremely young, yet tremendously experienced commando, Command Sgt. Maj. Wafa, a warrior who trained with American Special Forces in the United States. Wafa was personally mentored by one of America’s top Special Forces sergeants major, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Wright, who helps lead the Special Operations Joint Task Force here, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Wright has taken Wafa under his wing, and the two are more than colleagues. They are close, personal friends and refer to each other as true brothers-in-arms.

    Wright is quick to point out the limitless potential of Wafa, a commando who has been fighting the enemies of the Afghan government before he reached the ripe old age of 12. Wafa, like his coalition commandos, is sharp – always alert and thinking.

    Wright said Wafa is a very unusual man – gifted and a total professional. “The sky is the limit with him,” he said.

    “I always tell my fellow Afghan noncommissioned officers to try to take advantage of their experience because they must prepare for when they must rely on themselves to fight and beat the enemies of Afghanistan,” Wafa said.

    Wafa, an energetic man with zeal and focus, offers his commandos tactical and technical wisdom that comes from countless battles and is as engaging as he is as militarily proficient, say Coalition Forces’ trainers, who live, work and eat with the Afghan commando teams.

    Wafa reminded his senior noncommissioned officers where the Afghan Army started, where they are now and where they are going.

    The conference, which is Wafa’s second symposium for his Afghan noncommissioned officers, included Afghan officers as featured keynote speakers. The NCOs then conducted a discussion, which included a questions and answers session how best to continue their efforts and press forward in their fighting the senseless violence of the insurgents and restore security to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

    “The American Army has 230 years of experience, and my enlisted leaders here need to learn from the mentoring now, while it is available to them,” Wafa said.

    The Senior Enlisted Leader for ISAF, Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas R. Capel, offered encouragement, purpose and direction to a room filled with Afghan and Coalition officers and sergeants major, addressing how important it is for them to work shoulder-to-shoulder with their counterparts because in the months ahead, the Afghans have to figure out now, months ahead how they are going to best engage with the enemy.

    One of the imperatives for the coalition trainers, mentoring Afghan forces is helping the ANSF warriors plan for the transition that is fast approaching. With a deadline of 2014 the Afghan Soldiers spoke at length about the way ahead.

    “We now have a strong army,” Wafa said, “but 13 years ago we had none of this. I have been fighting since I was eleven years old. We need to talk about how we can use these weapons systems and urban assault vehicles and our new Noncommissioned Officers Corps, which is something we never had.”

    According to Wafa, “in the past, we made food, served tea and cleaned up for the officers quarters, but we really didn’t have a noncommissioned officers corps. It’s nice to have all this wonderful equipment, but our having a solid NCO Corps is one of the most important achievements that the Afghan Army has been able to do. This will be key to our success.”

    “Our enlisted leaders will brief about their equipment and how these joint operations are going. I am encouraging an open discussion as to how these sergeants major will be able to continue to do what they are doing now once the Coalition Forces draw down,” Wafa said. “I tell my Soldiers to realize what kind of knowledge is here in this room and learn from the 230 years of experience that is here while they can.”

    “We learn many good things always from each other,” Wafa said and thanked Capel for coming out to the Afghan Commando training camp to help mentor and exchange knowledge and experiences with his Afghan colleagues.

    “It’s very good that Command Sergeant Major Wafa continues to get the Afghan National Security Forces’ sergeants major calibrated on the way forward by doing these conferences,” Capel said. “It’s important to talk about the steps needed as they move towards the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 and how they plan to go out and engage with the enemy.”



    Date Taken: 04.04.2013
    Date Posted: 04.06.2013 09:52
    Story ID: 104737

    Web Views: 288
    Downloads: 0