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Afghan National Army, Police Train in United States

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2006 – Members of the Afghan National Army and Police arrived at the Joint Readiness Training Center, at Fort Polk, La., Oct. 23.

The 42 soldiers and policemen have been working side by side with the newest edition to the 82nd Airborne Division family, the 4th Brigade Combat Team, from Fort Bragg, N.C. They have been conducting combat patrols and convoys as part of a training exercise. The exercises allow them to rehearse their mission in a simulated combat environment by test their skills under stressful conditions. The Afghan soldiers and police officers have been doing this training by embedding in groups of 10 with each of the brigade’s battalions.

“The presence of (Afghan) troops with the 4th BCT units during the training rotation will greatly enhance the units’ joint operations in Afghanistan,” Army Maj. Neil Harper, Operations Group public affairs officer, said. “The combined training mission will allow units from both countries an opportunity to learn how to coordinate and synchronize operations between forces.”

He said the Afghan troops will be operating throughout the JRTC training area demonstrating how they work in Afghanistan.

“They will add realism to the training by making it necessary for the 4th BCT soldiers and Afghan troops to coordinate with one another as they will be expected to do in Afghanistan,” Harper added. “The training will incorporate real-world problems for the units to work through while preparing and conducting combat operations as well as humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.”

The Joint Readiness Training Center achieves realism by linking to current theaters of operation and immediately incorporating lessons learned and merging tactics, techniques and procedures, threats and best practices into the training scenarios, Harper said.

“They (Afghan soldiers and policemen) came here to train and are motivated to train,” Army Capt. Elijah Dreher, who works with the Afghan army, said. “They are doing extremely well.”

Beyond the training, this experience is providing a forum for the two armies to gain a cultural understanding of each other and help them communicate with each other, officials said.

The 4th Brigade Combat Team and the Afghan soldiers and policemen will transition into the force-on-force phase of JRTC Nov. 1. In this phase, the rotational unit will put their training to use by actively engaging against an opposing force.

(From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)

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