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Afghan Army Chief of Operations to Visit United States

By Staff Sgt. Victoria Meyer, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

KABUL, Afghanistan, June 4, 2005 – The chief of operations of the Afghan National Army's General Staff will represent his nation at a conference on U.S. special operations forces in Tampa, Fla.

Lt. Gen. Sher Karimi will attend the U.S. Special Operations Command's Special Operations Forces Week beginning June 6, followed by a Special Operations Command Symposium. He also will take a trip to Washington to visit the Pentagon and the headquarters of MPRI, a contractor that provides mentors to the ANA and the Afghan Ministry of Defense.

Special Operations Command's SOF Week is an annual event in which senior special operations leaders meet with industry representatives to discuss how industry products can better fit the needs of the SOF mission.

Almost 80 countries, including many from Southwest Asia, the Horn of Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe, were invited to send military representatives to attend the conference this year. Karimi said he hopes to take what he learns at the conference and apply it in his own work within the ANA.

According to U.S. Army Lt. Col. Peter With, a plans officer with the Office of Military Cooperation Afghanistan and Karimi's escort during the U.S. visit, the general's attendance at the conference will play a vital role in developing future special operations capabilities for the Afghan military.

Karimi said one of the topics he is looking forward to at the conference will be how to combat terrorism.

"Terrorism is a subject today, a problem today, a challenge today and one nation, one army, one unit cannot do it by himself," he said. "To be successful against terrorism, you have to be well-trained, specially trained, particularly to fight against terrorism in the cities, and must have good intelligence training."

This is not Karimi's first visit the United States. In his 38 years of military service, he has completed many military training courses in the U.S., including the Infantry Officer Advanced course, the Ranger Course, airborne training and the Special Forces Qualification Course.

Karimi is scheduled to return to Afghanistan June 16.

(Air Force Staff Sgt. Victoria Meyer is assigned to the Office of Military Cooperation Afghanistan.)

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