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New Afghan Army Recruiting Center Opens for Business

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2004 – A new recruitment center for the Afghan National Army opened for business in Faizabad Sept. 7.

Air Force Maj. Gen. Craig P. Weston, chief of the Office of Military Cooperation-Afghanistan, attended the center's grand opening.

National Army Volunteer Centers are paramount to reaching out to the young men who are creating Afghanistan's new army made up of all of the country's major ethnic groups, officials said.

In his remarks at the ceremony, Weston noted about 4,300 Afghan Army soldiers and officers are deployed around the country engaging in combat operations against the enemy. The current total strength of the new Afghan Army is about 15,500, including about 13,000 trained soldiers and another 2,500 in training.

In other news from Afghanistan, a U.S. military spokesman said today that a UH- 60 Blackhawk helicopter carrying soldiers made a hard landing north of Deh Rawod on Sept. 6. The helicopter wasn't brought down by enemy fire and sustained moderate damage, the spokesman added. There were no injuries.

In a separate event the same day, the spokesman said, four anti-coalition members attacked coalition forces 33 kilometers north of Deh Rawod. AH-64 Apache attack helicopters were brought in, and the insurgents scattered. There were no coalition injuries or damage to equipment in the skirmish.

Coalition and Afghan Army troops found a cornucopia of stored enemy weaponry during several Sept. 6 operations conducted near Ghazni, Tarin Kowt and Orgun- E, the spokesman reported today.

Ordnance that was confiscated included 300 AK-47 and AKM rifles, an anti- aircraft gun, two machine guns, 734 anti-tank mines and fuses, 80 120 mm mortars, 150 82 mm mortars, 20 122 mm rockets, 1,000 rounds of 14.5 mm small- arms ammunition, 950 rounds of 12.7 mm small-arms ammunition, 20 boxes of hand grenades, three 82 mm mortar tubes, 75 boxes of machine gun ammunition, and a container full of rocket-propelled grenades and mortar tubes.

The caches were found due to information provided by civic-minded Afghan citizens or during patrols and searches, the military spokesman said.

Contact Author

Biographies:
Air Force Maj. Gen. Craig P. Weston, Chief, Office of Military Cooperation-Afghanistan

Related Sites:
Combined Forces Command Afghanistan



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