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Afghan Soldiers Conduct U.S.-Style Training Exercise

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2005 – Afghan soldiers are participating in an American-military-styled combat training exercise near Kandahar, according to a U.S. military press release.

"We've created this training program to mirror the same rigorous standards and realism U.S. forces face at the Combat Maneuver Training Center in Germany prior to their deployment here," said Capt. Beau Garrett, a Combined Joint Task Force-76 operations officer.

Garrett said the exercise marks the first time an Afghan National Army unit will be trained and evaluated according to U.S. military standards. More than 500 Afghan soldiers and almost 100 U.S. forces are participating in the exercise.

It's hoped, Garrett said, that the Afghan Army will continue to train its soldiers by the same criteria.

"This is an Afghan-led operation, their leaders will determine what areas the unit needs to focus on and what operations the units are already conducting at a proficient level," Garrett said.

The training involves both combat infantry and headquarters exercises. During the live-fire portion, squads, companies and the battalion will learn how to function as a team in engaging enemy units. The second part involves a command staff exercise where the headquarters elements react to various combat scenarios.

American combat exercise observers/controllers have been brought in to referee the training.

"The OCs we've brought here for the mission are simply tools their commanders can use to take an impartial look at their operations," Garrett said.

Garrett said the training, which is slated to end Nov. 20, is specifically designed to be realistic.

"Many of the scenarios that will be presented to the command are based on actual operations and incidents here in Afghanistan," Garrett said.

"They are situations the Afghan command and staff will find themselves facing, only here they have the opportunity to re-look the decisions they made safely without the normal risks that are associated with today's modern battlefield."

(Information compiled from a Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan press release.)

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