Friday, September 25, 2009

An Afghan Bond Formed

Here is a little news from another part of the war in Afghanistan. Marines of the Marine Expeditionary Brigade-Afghanistan have been charged with the duty of training the Afghan National Army. Training at Camp Shimshod, Helmand province starts early but not before their morning prayer over a loud speaker. The men of the Afghan National Army are relatively young. They have also joined for different reasons. Although, the most common reason for their commitment could be summed up by Sgt. Masood Mhakbar’s quote. “I want to help Afghanistan.”
The Afghan National Army (ANA) are very eager to serve. They look to the International Security Assistance Force of United States Marines for their training. The Marines are acting a lot like our military advisors from France we had during American’s Revolution. The goal of the Marines is to give Afghanistan a sound military that can be relied on and be in place for many years to come. The Marines spend 24 hours a day with their Afghanistan counterparts. As well is the ANA, the Afghan National Police are also trained.
The Afghan soldiers have been become more and more active in military operations. Much more often they are leading patrols or posting forward and rear security. The Marines want the ANA to slowly start taking over tasks until they can act independently. The experience they are gaining with patrolling and working with the Marines has turned out to be invaluable. The ANA is stating to understand the logistical part of war. They are able to address their problems themselves instead of relying on US forces.
By living with the ANA, the Marines can better understand what their living conditions what needs to be done to increase their combat effectiveness. A bond has really formed between the ANA and the Marines. When not on post, they intermingle and joke around with each other. The Marines are finding their cultural differences interesting. Some of which is the drinking of a lot of tea and eating of watermelon. The ANA is looking forward to their next duty station thanks to the Marines training them. Click Here For the Whole Story

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