MAZAR-E SHARIF, Afghanistan – Soldiers of the Afghan National Army on Camp Marmal received very critical supplies just in time for the frigid, northern Afghanistan winter months, Nov. 7: blankets and pillows.
“The spirit of a soldier is the same, no matter what country we come from or what uniform we wear,” said Col. Daniel E. Williams, commander of the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, during a visit to the local Afghan National Army commander, Gen. Asharf.
The meeting of the two commanders, over the traditional cups of hot chai, mainly concerned the welfare of the ANA soldiers and positive talks of the future for the Afghan people.
“We are happy and we are willing to develop our country with the cooperation of the coalition forces,” Asharf said. “I don’t see any difference between us [ANA] and the U.S. Army. It is good that we are on the same path for the development of Afghanistan.”
“We are one team, working together for Afghanistan,” he added.
After deploying to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom 10-11 as part of the presidential surge, the 4th CAB immediately directed effort to the small ANA unit, helping to greatly improve their living conditions.
Along with improvements in living, 4th CAB medical personnel also ensure that the Afghan soldiers regularly receive combat life-saving medical training.
“The ANA soldiers picked up the material quickly, they were enthusiastic about learning, and they wanted to learn more – as much as they can,” said Staff Sgt. Markevin Williams, the 4th CAB troop medical center non-commissioned officer in charge. “The training is meant to help them train themselves. This will make them more self-sustainable.”
The 4th CAB plans to increase its support of the ANA by offering weekly medical health assessments, ensuring that the Afghan soldiers are fit to fight.
The meeting concluded and the bedding was turned over to Asharf, who then gave it to his soldiers.
“Peace starts with one person at a time, one unit at a time, one village at a time, one province,” said Williams.