News: Sustainment Excellence continues, Afghans in lead
Story by Sgt. Ruth Pagan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Sustainment Excellence Training began with the soldiers of 204th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division being the main instructors to the Afghan Uniformed Police but has progressed to Afghans providing most of the instruction.
“At the beginning of the training day we will identify AUP who have been to the training before,” said 1st Lt. Adam Stear, the logistics training advisory team officer in charge with Company B, 204th BSB. “We will have them step up to teach. The American instructor is standing by in case there are any questions or if they forget anything.”
Not only are the AUP teaching their peers, but their fellow Afghans who work as interpreters for the soldiers also assist.
“The interpreters have gone through the classes so much that they can actually teach the class,” said Sgt. 1st Class Lyle Hobbs, logistics training advisory team non-commissioned officer in charge with Company B, 204th BSB. “It’s better because it’s easier for the translation instead of us saying it and then them having to translate it; it’s more of a smooth transition and it’s Afghans teaching Afghans.”
“The soldiers have more experience but it’s difficult with the language so it is very good that Afghans are teaching the class from what they have learned from the soldiers,” said Lt. Abdulwahid, an officer with 1st Belt Kandak, who brought 10 of his newest AUP to the training, April 21.
The Sustainment Excellence Training was designed to help professionalize the AUP by giving them classes on counter improvised explosive devices, IED familiarization, radio communication, Ford Ranger maintenance, drivers training, generator maintenance, first aid, weapons maintenance and mine detection.
“We base the classes they receive on what their leadership tells us they want for training,” Stear said.
The training is held twice each week and rotates between 17 Police Sub Stations throughout Kandahar City, but because of the demand for training and the amount of success the training has produced, the training will now be held three times each week.
“A lot the PSSs have stepped up and really taken the initiative to learn and to teach,” Hobbs said. “The repeat students, we have found, are really retaining the information and are able to teach their fellow policemen.”
“One of the reasons the AUP like to come again is because they will receive a certificate if they help instruct,” Stear said. “So, it has become a sort of competition between them to get that certificate.”
Though earning a certificate is one motivation, pride is another.
“We are doing work for our country and being able to teach my countrymen is very rewarding,” said Fazalhadi, a civilian weapons specialist with Alpha Omega Services and instructor of weapons maintenance. “These are our guys and being able to prepare them to defend our country makes me so proud.”