Thirty-one Afghan troops graduate from leadership course in Helmand province

Posted: July 19, 2011 in Development
Tags: ,

Story and photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Gino Flores

Lt. Col Gary Rotsch, II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward) comptroller (left), congratulates Sgt. Akhtargul, a graduate of the Joint Non-commissioned Officer’s Course at Joint Sustainment Academy Southwest, Camp Leatherneck, Helmand province, July 18. Thirty-one Afghan National Security Forces students graduated from the course.

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (July 18, 2011) – Thirty-one members of the Afghan National Security Forces graduated July 18 from the Joint Non-commissioned Officer’s course at Joint Sustainment Academy Southwest.

Marine instructors and mentors with JSAS guided ANSF course trainees through the ten-week course, helping develop the skills needed to build a professional and disciplined team of small unit leaders.

“This course gives the Afghans the ability to go back to their units, pass on information and train the soldiers and policemen,” said Cpl. Justin Ellis, an instructor at JSAS.

The class taught the Afghan non-commissioned officers operational leadership skills, including patrolling, machine gun employment, conducting cordon searches, setting up vehicle check points, and forward operating base defense.

The non-commissioned officer courses, held at JSAS since 2010, are essential in developing Afghan instructors to carry forth the skills needed by troops during the transition phase of self governance, said Ellis

“In the last five days [of the course], we train the trainers to take the knowledge gained from the course and train their own units back at their ANSF home commands,” he explained.

“I feel we’re are doing something positive for the future of Afghanistan so that they can teach their own,” added Sgt. Jonathan Galowitch, a native of Bethlehem, Pa., and an instructor at JSAS.

Many of the graduating non-commissioned officers will now proceed to plan a career path for future training or to progress to next rank, said Sgt. Parwaiz, one of the course graduates and an Afghan Border Policeman from Nimroz province.

“I‘ve learned to be a team leader, [how to] do patrols and about different weapons,” he added. “This course was great and will pave the way to my next step which is to be an officer. Once we’re assigned to our new duty station, we will lead troops and prevent casualties during operations.”

Additional photos can be viewed here

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