Afghan National Army opens infantry school


Afghan National Army Col. Abdul Sabor,
commander of the new ANA infantry school

August 2, 2010
Staff Sgt. Sarah Brown, USAF
Source: NATO News Release

The Afghan National Army held a ceremony to officially open a new infantry school at Darulaman in Kabul, Aug. 1, 2010. The move, a first step toward establishing a brand new infantry facility in Kandahar, will temporarily provide the ANA a larger, improved training area for students, as well as hold larger classes. The new school will teach infantry tactics and different weapons systems such as the RPG-7, SPG-9 recoilless rifle, mortar, reconnaissance and infantry intelligence.

Afghan Col. Abdul Sabor, the new infantry school commander, said the school will help the army by focusing more time and attention on infantry-specific skills for entry-level soldiers, noncommissioned officers and officers. It will also allow trainees to have time for classroom lessons and hands-on application.

“The school has a very positive effect in enhancement of ANA capabilities from both sides of quantity and quality; one of the reasons we’re making a separate infantry school is to train soldiers, sergeants and officers in different timeframes and courses of infantry profession,” said Sabor. “Today, in battlefield and military units we have a high need for infantry class because infantries are the one who fights against the enemy.”

Previously, reconnaissance and heavy weapons systems courses were taught under the Advanced Combat Training Brigade at the Kabul Military Training Center; the ACT brigade is in the process of separating all advanced branch training, including artillery, maintenance, logistics, signal and engineer, into separate schools to enhance training.

The first class of 211 students to go through the new school began training July 31, 2010. If courses run at full capacity, the new school will be able to accommodate up to 2,000 students at one time, according to British Lt. Col. Jeremy Pughe-Morgan, commanding officer, infantry mentor group. Each year, he said they will be able to produce 14,000 infantrymen, helping build a more resilient army that is better able to defeat insurgents. The next NCO infantry course will begin in the middle of August and the infantry officer course will begin in early September.

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Gary S. Patton, NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan deputy commanding general-army, spoke to the new trainees, saying they could be sure of three things as they embark on their infantry careers – that their nation needs them in this time of war, that there is an enemy out there and that their fellow Afghan soldiers will welcome them.

Infantry skills are essential to any military force, and the move demonstrates the importance the ANA places on having a trained, capable artillery, reconnaissance and ground fighting force in the army.

“You should learn everything you can, and always keep in your mind that you are the ones who will defend your country,” Sabor told his new trainees. “We can achieve success with the combat knife of infantry soldiers.”

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