News: Marines train with Afghan role-players
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – As the war in Afghanistan continues, one of today’s most important missions for Marines is to train Afghans to conduct independent operations and prevent the Taliban from returning to power.
Marines and sailors with the Embedded Partnering Team, Combat Logistics Battalion 1, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, conducted training with Afghan role-players here, June 16, in preparation for their upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.
To practice for their crucial mission, approximately 20 EPT Marines and sailors trained with Pashto-speaking role-players who posed as Afghan National Army leaders, whom they’ll interact with on a daily basis when they deploy with CLB-1 later this year.
The Marines gave classes on weapons handling procedures and patrolling techniques, utilizing a Pashto-speaking interpreter. Then the Marines watched as the Afghan noncommissioned officers repeated the instruction to the role-players portraying their junior ANA soldiers.
Training Afghan NCOs so they can train then their junior soldiers takes a true understanding of the tactics, techniques and procedures in any given mission. Therefore, proper communication amongst the Marines and their Afghan counterparts is so important, said EPT members. Also, the Marines with the EPT understand how crucial it is to become familiar with Afghan customs and courtesies so they don’t cross cultural boundaries when training the Afghans how to provide logistics support to infantry ANA soldiers.
“Without this, we would lack the necessary skills to teach the Afghans to defend themselves,” said Staff Sgt. Chase J. Rohr, class liaison, adviser training cell, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
The Marines and sailors who attended the training said they gained valuable knowledge that will help them during their upcoming deployment.
“I’ve learned to teach somebody from a different country,” said Cpl. Giovanni A. Rivera, radio operator, EPT, who participated in exercises that taught the Pashto-speaking role-players about weapons safety and patrolling. “[I can train] somebody with different customs and courtesies, and I learned a lot about the Marine Corps. I’m excited to help Marines come home by teaching Afghans how to take care of their nation.”