CAMP SHORABAK, Afghanistan – Soldiers and leadership with the Afghan National Army Regional Military Training Center-Southwest, located on Camp Shorabak in Helmand province, said goodbye to advisers and friends when it officially took full control of its operations during a transition ceremony here Dec. 26.
More than 200 ANA trainees stood in formation with their Danish advisers and distinguished guests during the ceremony. The facility, which opened its doors in January 2010, was the last RMTC to be built and is now the first to transition.
Part of the ANA 215th Maiwand Corps, recruits come from all of the 34 provinces throughout Afghanistan to attend training at the facility and become ANA soldiers.
ANA Brig. Gen. Ghulam Farooq Parwani, the deputy commanding general of the Afghan army’s 215th Corps, welcomed all attendees and praised the hard work and dedication of the RMTC staff and their advisers during a speech.
“It has been almost two years since the establishment of the RMTC,” said Farooq. “In this short time the personnel of RMTC whose job it is to train and educate soldiers have worked with understanding of their responsibilities and have worked with honor and dignity and compassion. The command of RMTC with complete help of 215th have worked hard and achieved a lot due to the fact that today we are witnessing the transition between advisers and RMTC. Today we congratulate this great achievement to all of you officers, NCOs and soldiers of RMTC."
Marine Col. Scott Arnold, the Regional Support Command-Southwest commander, said he is amazed by the progress since he took command in June of this year.
"For the past seven months I have personally witnessed RMTC-Shorabak mature and become a shining example of Afghan National Army capability. You have risen to meet every challenge head on, and you have succeeded,” said Arnold. "You possess all the necessary leadership, technical, tactical military skills required to accomplish all your missions, whether it’s teaching class in a classroom, or firing on the firing range, issuing supplies, or feeding thousands of soldiers - you can do it all.”
Since November 2011 alone, the facility has trained approximately 7,500 ANA recruits in various courses including Regional Basic Warrior Training, Tactical Leaders Course, Infantry NCO Battle Course, Combat Medic Course and an up-armored Humvee Driver’s Course.
"In early 2010 this was a barren piece of desert,” said Arnold. “On it today sits the best training center in Afghanistan. From here you lay the foundation on which Afghan security is built. An army is only as good as its soldiers, and soldiers are only as good as their training. Every soldier that has graduated and every soldier that will graduate plays a fundamental role in the security of Afghanistan. Be proud of all you've accomplished, all you will accomplish and the key role you play in sustaining the Afghan National Army in the security of your nation.”
NTM-A supports ISAF to enable accountable, Afghan led security not later than 31 December 2014. For more information about NTM-A, visit www.ntm-a.com