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    Ribbon cutting marks major milestone in preparing next generation of Afghan National Army leaders

    Ribbon cutting marks major milestone in preparing next generation of Afghan National Army leaders

    Photo By Lt. Charity Edgar | U.S. Army Col. Tom Tickner, director, Combined Joint-Engineer, Combined Security...... read more read more

    KABUL, AFGHANISTAN

    09.17.2015

    Story by Lt.j.g. Charity Edgar 

    Resolute Support Headquarters

    KABUL, AFGHANISTAN—Resolute Support and Marshal Fahim National Defense University ushered in a new era of leadership development with the Afghan National Army Officer Academy ribbon cutting in Qargha District, Kabul, Sept. 16.

    The facilities and curriculum are based on the British Army’s Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and similar to the U.S. Army’s Officer Candidate School. A large, diverse audience gathered for the historic event, which recognized the transfer of the new facilities to the Afghan National Army.

    “The project represents the combined partnership of the Afghan National Army, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, coalition partners and the Afghan private sector,” said U.S. Army Col. Tom Tickner, director, Combined Joint-Engineer, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan. “The construction of the Afghan National Army Officer Academy is an investment in the leadership of Afghanistan.”

    The construction consisted of 21 facilities and an obstacle training course. When at full capacity, the campus will support 1,750 staff and students. The Afghan National Army Officer Academy is one of three phases of the Marshal Fahim National Defense University construction project. When all the phases are complete, 8,000 students and faculty can be supported onsite.

    Marshal Fahim National Defense University provides professional military training to Afghan National Army officer recruits, as well as continued development of non-commissioned officers and officers alike. The three-phase construction began in 2008 with the National Military Academy of Afghanistan, considered the country’s U.S. Military Academy's equivalent, which was finished in 2012. Now that the Afghan National Army Officer Academy project is done, only construction of six branch schools remain until the Marshal Fahim National Defense University campus is complete.

    British Army Brig. Charles Page, Resolute Support chief mentor to the Afghan National Army Officer Academy has worked closely with the project since 2012.

    “The [Afghan National Army Officer] Academy has achieved much in a short time,” said Page. “After a rapid start, it has graduated three courses providing the Afghan National Army with over 750 new, professional and much needed officers.”

    Prior to the construction’s completion, cadets relied on tents and small, outdated facilities for their training.

    “Without a doubt, a key part in the Academy’s development has been its move into the new buildings,” continued the former Assistant Commandant of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. “The new buildings give the Academy the deserved feel of a prestigious institution that has the potential to match, and even beat, equivalent international academies in terms of the quality of officers it produces.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.17.2015
    Date Posted: 09.17.2015 11:30
    Story ID: 176367
    Location: KABUL, AF 
    Hometown: KABUL, AF
    Hometown: LONDON, GTL, GB
    Hometown: THE PENTAGON, DC, US

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