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    Slovak team trains Afghan soldiers to instruct their own weapons training

    Slovak team trains Afghan soldiers to instruct their own weapons training

    Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Whitney Houston | Slovak Staff Sgt. Peter Sulgan, who serves with a Slovak Security Force Advisory Team,...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Whitney Houston 

    ISAF Regional Command South

    KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - An arid wind lifted the flour-like dust from the parched landscape with such ease it made the hot wind visible. Whirlwinds seemed to be the only things traveling across the valley floor of Kandahar province, Afghanistan, on Aug. 21, 2014, but in a remote corner of the desert floor on a small hill, coalition forces gathered in the midst of the dust devils for weapons training.

    A Slovak Army Security Force Advisory Team, Regional Command-South, chose the remote hillside for a culminating exercise for weapons training that the 4th Kandak, 2nd Mobile Strike Force Brigade, Afghan National Army, has received from the Slovaks.

    “This exercise that we conducted today was the final day of weapons training that the Afghans have been receiving from us for the past month,” said Slovak Capt. Stanislav Lucan, a native of Martin, Slovakia, who serves as an operations officer and adviser for the 4th Kandak, 2nd MSF Brigade. “My instructors trained them in weapons handling and basic tactical skills with the M4s, M16s, and mounted .50-caliber machine gun, as well as everything relating with firing those weapon systems.”

    The goal that the Slovaks were aiming for was to train the Afghan soldiers to be proficient with the weapon systems and enable them to train their own soldiers.

    “This training allows the Afghans to become more self-sustaining, which is important for them as the coalition force’s footprint continues to get smaller throughout Afghanistan,” Lucan said.

    “These train the trainer types of events are very important, because they (Afghans) need to be the ones training their new soldiers. It’s imperative to have as many soldiers as highly qualified as possible to increase their training efficiency and limit our involvement as much as possible,” said U.S. Army Capt. Scott Wright, an adviser with 2nd MSF Brigade Security Force Advise and Assist Team, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, who was present to oversee the training.

    Lucan explained that before the training even began, the Slovak SFAT worked with Afghan leaders within the kandak, which is the equivalent of a battalion in the U.S. Army, to hand-pick the soldiers who would make the best instructors for the upcoming generation of Afghan soldiers.

    To perform this special mission of training Afghans, the Slovak SFAT was handpicked as well from within Slovakia’s 1st Mechanized Brigade, Slovak Land Forces, Lucan explained. He expressed his feelings about the hefty responsibility and profound pride that comes with that responsibility.

    “I feel proud of my mission. I have to say that it has been a challenge for me, and it’s been rewarding for me, because I can see the results of my work,” Lucan said, “and if I see that they’re learning, I can see the results of my work, so it makes me feel good.”

    “I was really impressed with the Slovak team. They did an excellent job training the ANA,” Wright said. “I wanted to see this culmination of training come together, and it was really well-executed by both the Slovaks and the ANA.”

    Providing the ANA with proficiency in weapons training was the Slovak’s first step of more complex training that the ANA will receive in the near future. Now, they will move forward and learn to use their weapons training in squad-sized elements.

    “Today’s training was the first step of our work, and we’re ready for the next step,” Lucan said. “Now, we’re going on to squad movement tactics and squad tactics under fire. So now we’re faced with the challenge of creating squads and preparing them to act cohesively as a squad under fire.”



    Date Taken: 08.27.2014
    Date Posted: 08.27.2014 11:06
    Story ID: 140494
    Hometown: MARTIN, SK
    Hometown: FORT CARSON, CO, US

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