News: Afghan National Army put training to the test
Story by Lance Cpl. Glen Santy
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Army Shorabak Garrison Security Company with the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment and the Danish Mentor Team patrolled the village of Habibabad, Dec. 13, to meet with local Afghans and discuss their concerns.
Coalition forces have been training these soldiers on civil affairs, security and urban combat. The primary goal of the mission was to establish a bond between the ANA and the locals. The partnered patrol went home to home to speaking with the head of each household.
“I’m happy about how the ANA performed on the patrol. It shows that they’re learning what we’re teaching them and that they’re retaining it,” said Staff Sgt. Cary Anderson, a team leader with Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment.
The Marines and Danish soldiers trained the ANA in tactics and procedures.
“We’ve been with these guys for about three steady weeks now, and we’ve put them through drills and taken them to ranges as a part of their training,” said Anderson, 35, from Olive Branch, Ill. “We put them through the same training as the Marines, so they know they’re on the same level as us.”
Anderson said that if the ANA came under fire during a joint patrol, he knows they would work well together, “and have each other’s back.”
During this field evolution, the ANA learned the basics of patrolling and urban combat while uniting with the local Afghans.
The ANA made progress throughout their exercises, but the success did not come without challenges.
“The training has its ups and downs, but it’s getting better,” said Danish Cpl. Glenn Miller, a trainer with Operation Mentoring Liaison Team. “It’s going to take time, but you can see them getting better.”
Because of the need for experienced Afghan soldiers throughout Helmand province, coalition forces have a limited amount of time to train the ANA. The training the Afghan soldiers received, in the relatively peaceful town of Habibabad helped develop their civil affairs and tactical procedures as they continue to deploy throughout Helmand province.