Training the ANA
Afghan National Training Centre – Canadian Detachment Op ARCHER Roto 1
Six Sr NCOs and Officers from LdSH(RC) deployed to Afghanistan in Jan 06 as part of the Op ARCHER Roto 1 Afghan National Training Centre, Canadian Detachment (ANTC CA Det). After spending a month in scenic Shilo conducting TMSBP, the team was ready to deploy. Although the mandated training package was comprehensive, certain members of the team ensured that training was made all the more thorough and relevant, proactively adding such varied activities as vehicle rollover drills and Afghan contemporary dance lessons.
Tasked with running collective training for Afghan kandaks (battalions) prior to their deployment on operations within Afghanistan, the team operates from a small base adjacent to the Kabul Military Training Centre, located east of the Afghan capital. It has been three months now since we left Canada, and we have seen our share of long days filled with training. Every effort has been made to make the training – the last that kandaks conduct before immediate deployment on operations, the most comprehensive, relevant and realistic as possible. Kandaks are taught a variety of infantry section and platoon tactics, some of which are confirmed on field firing ranges. The emphasis is placed on giving soldiers and leaders a firm understanding of and confidence in the basic TTPs, and developing cohesion in the sections, platoons and companies.
Although the team’s schedule is kept busy with organizing and executing training, time is found by certain stalwart team members to review such vital manners as the proper staffing of Lost Stores Reports; high stakes diplomacy with our American colleagues; field testing communications equipment on road moves to ensure its durability; or conducting electronic information operations campaigns, operated primarily online via hotornot.com.
So too do the members of the team find time between and during training to develop a strong rapport with our ANA counterparts whom we mentor. In spite of the linguistic and cultural barriers, common ground is found between ourselves and our counterparts in a desire to provide the soldiers of the kandaks with a high level of training so that they are well prepared for the tasks that lay ahead for them upon deployment. The bonds we have made with the ANA have been strong and hopefully the lessons learned by them will endure and assist the entire army. While there are frustrations and challenges to overcome on a regular basis, the team remains committed to doing our small part at preparing the ANA for operations, and assisting in improving the security of this nation in its current fragile state.