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    COIN academy brings new focus to counter-insurgency doctrine



    Story by Sgt. Rebecca Linder 

    196th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade

    CAMP JULIEN, Afghanistan – After being at war for more than nine years in Afghanistan, U.S. and coalition forces have worked hard to train and mentor Afghan National Security Forces in gaining the trust and support of their own people.

    Helping to build the ANSF confidence to accomplish this is the Counter-insurgency Training Center – Afghanistan, also known as the COIN academy, where Afghan, U.S. and other coalition forces learn the detailed concepts of COIN – winning the hearts and minds of the local people – and how to apply it.

    Operating since 2007, the CTC-A has taught COIN to U.S and coalition troops serving throughout Afghanistan, but a new focus on training the ANSF in this strategy is the goal of the school.

    Recently under the direction of Gen. David Petraeus, International Security Assistance Force commander, the direction and importance of who is being taught and executing the mission has changed, said U.S. Army Col. Chad Clark, CTC-A co-director.

    “The emphasis now needs to be on building the capabilities and capacity of the ANSF to professionalize them,” said Clark. “With this change, as we start to draw back our presence here, the ANSF can actually assist and provide what is necessary to the local population in terms of security and economic development.”

    With this recent initiative, classes at the CTC-A are starting to fill with more ANSF and less U.S. and other coalition forces. In the most recent class, 23 out of 170 students were ANSF.

    The CTC-A offers two different courses, COIN Leadership Class and a Stability Programming Framework class, and also provides on-the-site training for service members not able to attend the school.

    “The CLC class provides a common core baseline of what COIN is and the students spend time applying the concepts they have learned by doing practical exercises,” said U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Colby Sherwood, CTC-A instructor.

    “The SPF class focuses on teaching key leaders in Afghanistan how to rebuild a community by determining the causes of instabilities, and then how to plan against those causes to reduce the reasons for insurgencies,” added Sgt. 1st Class Casey Vanwormer, SPF instructor.

    Although classes will still be offered at the school for U.S. and coalition forces, the school is implementing a different way for service members to receive training before deploying overseas.

    “In the next six months there will be less coalition forces and more ANSF coming to the courses,” said Clark of Fort Leavenworth, Kan. “Eventually we will put together a COIN basic course online for U.S. and coalition service members … so when they arrive in Afghanistan, everyone will come with a basic understanding of COIN.”

    Allowing more ANSF to attend the classes will give them the opportunity to learn why they are important to their people, provide them the tools and understanding necessary to gain the trust of their own population, and eventually, allow U.S. and coalition forces to draw back their presence within the country.

    “The face of the government is the local Afghan National Police standing on the street corner directing traffic,” said Clark. “When the Afghan people see the police as an institution that is there to protect them, and not somebody who is there to harm them or to take their money, they see that as legitimate. If we can get the local people to trust the ANP and the army, then hopefully they will have faith that their government will be able to take care of them.”

    The CTC-A has been operating, educating and training U.S. and coalition forces on COIN for several years, but with the new transition to teaching ANSF, there is a hopeful future for the stability of this country with these newly educated Afghan leaders.

    “The transition of focus will allow the ANSF to be able to help build a safe and secure Afghanistan and eventually transition into a government that can govern its own people,” said Clark.



    Date Taken: 11.05.2010
    Date Posted: 11.05.2010 07:28
    Story ID: 59479
    Location: CAMP JULIEN, AF 

    Web Views: 1,422
    Downloads: 5