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    Afghan soldiers, police train for night operations



    Story by Cpl. Brian Gabriel Jr. 

    Regional Command Southwest

    CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Although it’s easy to believe that Afghanistan has an endless amount of cloudless, sunny days, students at the Joint Security Academy Southwest were reminded that much of their work takes place during the night.

    The Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police non-commissioned officers enrolled in the JSAS Joint NCO Course successfully completed a night fire exercise at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Oct. 18. Their Marine instructors were working alongside the students the entire time, making sure to offer advice and critiquing their marksmanship skills.

    The training began with a safety class and an instruction period on firing weapons at night. ANP students have no physical modifications to make to their AK-47s, bet they were taught to switch to the M16’s larger rear sight. This change allows the shooters to more easily identify their targets. To ensure the shooters knew exactly what to expect on the range, the students were also briefed on the firing drills they would be expected to perform.

    “The night fire shoot is a combination of hammer pairs, controlled pairs and ‘failure to stop’ drills,” said Cpl. Anthony M. Myer, a JSAS instructor. They’ll be doing all of the shooting from the 25 and 15 yard line with about 30 rounds.”

    The 20-year-old JSAS range coach, hailing from Cordele, Ga., added that the night fire exercise is pulled straight from nearly identical weapons training that Marines receive prior to deployment.

    While training on the range, Myers also gives all commands to his students in their native tongue. He feels that it gives his students additional motivation to pay attention during training.

    “I can pretty much run a whole range speaking either Dari or Pashto,” Myers said. “It’s a lot easier, and it makes training go by faster. I don’t have to rely on the interpreters so much. It also builds a rapport with the students.”

    Naseer Agha, one of the more experienced students, felt he and his fellow students greatly benefited from the night fire. Speaking from his own experiences with the ANA and Afghan special forces, the soldier said a key percentage of combat engagements occur at night.

    “At night, it is easier for the enemy to be covert,” Agha said. “We have to be familiar with using our weapons during the night in order to function properly.”

    Myers felt proud of his students’ performance during the night fire exercise, commenting that this specific class did extremely well compared to previous NCO courses.

    “I think they did pretty well today—they’re really coming along,” Myer said. It’s important they get this training because not every fight happens during the daytime.”



    Date Taken: 10.18.2010
    Date Posted: 10.21.2010 13:05
    Story ID: 58568

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