Afghan Army Grows by More Than 900 Commandos


Afghan Commandos
Photo by Specialist F. Julian Carroll

August 18, 2010

By U.S. Navy Chief Mass Communications Specialist Brian Brannon
NTM-A (NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan) Public Affairs Development 

Logar Province, Afghanistan (August 18, 2010) – Standing in tight formation on the parade grounds of Morehead Commando Training Center, more than 900 Afghan soldiers solemnly removed their camouflage boonie caps and donned the red berets of the Afghan Commando Corps.

Brig. Gen. Lawang Dadon, commander of the 1st Commando Brigade, commended the troops for earning the honor of being called Afghan commandos.

“I assure the Ministry of Defense that the commandos are ready,” he said. “In any kind of harsh situation, they are ready to destroy the enemies of Afghanistan anywhere they go.”

During twelve weeks of intensive training, the commandos learned mortar, sniper, and close-quarter battle tactics, along with combat lifesaving, driving, land navigation and reconnaissance techniques. Most are destined to the ranks of the 9th Commando “Cobra” Kandak (battalion), while others will supplement other kandaks throughout Afghanistan.

“There’s an expression in the military, ‘If you work hard in training, then you will be successful on the battlefield,’” said Lt. Gen. Mohammed Akram, first deputy chief of staff for the Ministry of Defense. “I can say for sure that among the Afghan National Security Forces, the commandos are an elite force.”

Armed with the latest NATO equipment, Akram said the commandos stand prepared to take the fight to the enemy. Reciting the Afghan Commando’s creed, they swore to do their duty in the air, on the ground and prove themselves in battle.

“Your presence throughout Afghanistan will bring a positive effect to our country,” Akram said. “You are the best of all forces.”

Akram expressed his gratitude to the coalition forces that have helped the ANA reach the point where Afghan commandos can now be trained by their own cadre. He then charged the commandos to complete their missions with courage, integrity, and dedication.

“The children of Afghanistan expect you to bring peace and stability,” he said. “This is your responsibility; this is your job. You will bring honor to Afghanistan.”

Lt. Col. Naqib Baloof, commander of the 9th Kandak, said that his men were up to the challenge. “I will promise Afghanistan, I will promise the Ministry of Defense, I will promise our country: In any difficult situation, we will be able to do our duty and we will defend our country,” he said. “I pray to God for the heroes of this Kandak.”

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