CAMP SHORABAK, Afghanistan -- Several hundred Afghan National Army soldiers from the 215th Corps’ newly formed 6th Kandak completed additional specialized training at the Regional Corps Battle School aboard Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, March 19.
The training is a combination of classes during the final week of each soldier’s specific Military Occupational Specialty school, during which they learn proper techniques on how to forcefully enter an enemy-occupied building or compound, explosive ordnance disposal tactics and patrolling methods. All of the ANA soldiers that graduated with 6th Kandak attended the Basic Warrior Training boot camp course prior to their MOS training, and many received additional courses including Military Operations in Urban Terrain training, a D-30 122 mm howitzer class, and casualty evacuation training with the ANA Mi-17 helicopters.
“Approximately 508 students participated in the training, and will be forward-deployed elements for 4th Brigade,” said Master Sgt. Chris Willenbecher, operations chief of Regional Corps Battle School, 215th Corps Security Force Assistance Advisor Team, Regional Command (Southwest). “Eight months ago, these soldiers were regular civilians; they have come a long way. They are disciplined and have shown leadership throughout the course.”
Coalition forces with the 215th Corps SFAAT have trained each Afghan instructor at the course.
“I am so thankful for everything I learned when I was a student,” said Sgt. Novikhil, a weapons maintenance instructor with RCBS. “I must pass it on to my students. This is the Afghan soldiers’ home country; I am very confident that these men will defend it and use the skills and techniques they have learned here to do just that.”
Upon completion of the course, the soldiers formed the 6th Kandak, a new battalion that will fall under the 4th Brigade of the 215th Corps in Helmand province. The 6th Kandak will be responsible for security and for protecting the Afghan locals during the upcoming presidential elections. The soldiers will bring with them the tactics and techniques learned throughout their training and apply them to future operations.
“I’m very happy we’re graduating so many students here,” said Novikhil. “We try our best to teach the students everything we have learned. It’s very important to transfer as much information as possible to the new students.”
The course is entirely Afghan-operated, with coalition forces from the 215th Corps SFAAT advising only on specific learning points or techniques when needed.
“Afghans led the entire process,” said Willenbecher. “From day one, this class has been a success. I am very pleased with the overall leadership they presented during the past eight months.”