Training, equipment boost Afghan army on battlefield

By Izazullah

Afghan National Army troops undergo advanced training in Balkh Province in May. [Izazullah]

Afghan National Army troops undergo advanced training in Balkh Province in May. [Izazullah]

KABUL -- The Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) are restoring hope to the nation with a series of recent battlefield successes, Ministry of Defence spokesman Gen. Dawlat Waziri told Central Asia Online

The Afghan National Army (ANA), receiving continued training and equipment from the international community, has achieved a number of successes this year, he said.

"The well-trained and well-equipped ANDSF are defeating the enemies of peace across Afghanistan," Waziri said. "The success of the ANDSF in the north of the country is evidence of the on-going training in the ANA 209th Shaheen Corps."

In one such battle, the ANDSF killed at least 20 militants in northern Afghanistan May 29. The operations took place in Sar-i-Pul and Baghlan provinces, the 209th Shaheen Corps said.

The ANDSF will show that they can wipe out the enemies of Afghanistan, Waziri said.

"Our heroes are our pride," he said. "All the nation is with them."

Co-ordinated joint exercises are part of the training that the ANDSF receive, Brig. Gen. Abdul Hameed Hameed, commander of the 209th, told Central Asia Online.

The enemies of peace know that their days are numbered, Hameed said. "They cannot face our heroes on the battlefield."

"As a result of continued training by the international community, the ANA trainers ... are confidently instructing the soldiers," he said, adding that such training has greatly enhanced the troops' ability.

'The truth prevails. We will succeed.'

One ANA officer, Rahim Khan, who did not disclose his rank, expressed pride in the skills and experiences he acquired after joining the ANA in 2009.

"I received invaluable training from our foreign and Afghan mentors in the last few years," he told Central Asia Online. "In addition to military training, our Afghan instructors conduct religion, morality and literacy classes."

"We all know that we are well equipped and well trained," he said. "We know that we are fighting for the right cause ... The truth prevails. We will succeed."

Zabihullah, another Afghan soldier, expressed pride in and gratitude for the training he received.

The instructors provided excellent training and taught the troops social and Islamic studies and ways to protect the nation, he said.

The ANDSF's maturity in recent operations highlights their abilities and experience, Naeed Karimi, an ANDSF veteran from the north, told Central Asia Online.

"I can see that the ANDSF are on the winning path," he said. "Their ... tactics and operations are evidence of advanced training from the international community. I am sure that they will wipe out the enemies of peace."

Local communities are providing growing support for the ANDSF, an indication of the forces' professionalism, he said.

Kabul resident Sher Shah was similarly positive, saying he was happy with the ANDSF's capabilities.

Religious scholars now encourage Afghans to send their sons and daughters to the join the ANA, he said.

"The soldiers comply with religious teachings and conduct exercises including medical evacuation," he added.

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