Home' Army News : February 3rd 2011 Contents WORLD NEWS 15
Army February 3, 2011
By AB Melanie Schinkel
AFGHAN soldiers respond better
to training that is hands-on, inter-
esting and diverse, according to
the Combat Service Support (CSS)
Operational Mentoring Liaison Team
Picking up from where MTF
1 left off, MTF 2's CSS OMLT has
been successfully mentoring 4th Bde
Afghanistan National Army (ANA)
soldiers in transport, communications,
maintenance, health and supply at
Multinational Base Tarin Kot.
CSS OMLT 2IC Capt Tim Cook
said the team of 15 Australian and five
Slovak army personnel was split into
five specialist cells. The team mentors
a Kandak of about 300 ANA soldiers.
The aim of the CSS OMLT is to
improve 4th Bde's logistics capabili-
ties so it can provide effective security
for the people in Uruzgan province.
"Before we leave Afghanistan,
we need to ensure that the ANA can
sustain independent operations and
increase its operations to defeat the
insurgency -- ANA soldiers need to
be confident in their trades to achieve
that," Capt Cook said.
"The CSS OMLT is working on
leaving an enduring legacy. We are
trying to empower and build the con-
fidence of the ANA's senior NCOs and
officers, so that after we've left they
can run their own training and con-
tinue to develop their soldiers.
"The ANA is still a fair way off
from what we would consider a profes-
sional Western army, but it is effective.
"In all honesty, if we left
Afghanistan today, the ANA could
pick up most of the jobs it needs to do
successfully, but it wouldn't necessar-
ily be able to increase its operational
tempo to the level required to defeat
Advanced and basic medical tech-
niques and combat net radio and com-
puter operation are just some of the
skills the ANA's soldiers are learning.
"The soldiers are very keen to learn
how to use computers because they
recognise that it is a modern techno-
logical skill. They particularly enjoy
convoy driving lessons too," Capt
"It can be quite difficult to engage
them in technical classroom training.
Most of the soldiers can't read and
learning about supply procedures isn't
Health Cell OC Capt Andrew
Hudson's department coordinates
"Our main role is to teach the
soldiers how to save a life in a war-
fighting situation. We cover basic first
aid through to how to use special-
ised equipment, such as the Kendrick
Extraction Device (KED), used to
immobilise and remove a casualty
from a vehicle," Capt Hudson said.
"Recently, we set up a training sce-
nario where an ANA soldier fell off a
roof. The ANA soldiers had to immo-
bilise the casualty using the KED and
carry him to safety, which demonstrat-
ed just how difficult it can be to evacu-
ate a casualty from a battlefield."
As part of the Transport Cell, Sgt
Wayne Murphy works with 4th Bde's
5th Kandak Transport Coy.
He said even though the company
already had a lot of transport processes
in place, it still required advice on how
to conduct convoy operations safely.
"ANA soldiers are targeted by the
Taliban, so we are teaching them con-
voy tactics. It is difficult for them to
grasp because Afghanistan is their
home. They are used to stopping a
convoy in town to go shopping without
conducting any safety procedures," Sgt
Capt Cook said the CSS OMLT
was planning to embark on a num-
ber of sustainment convoy trips to
Kandahar in southern Afghanistan.
"Those trips will serve as a good
opportunity to see if our objectives are
being met and gauge how the ANA
is coming along in managing its own
operations," Capt Cook said.
ANA's lessons in logistics
Hands-on: WO2 Wayne McKenna shows Afghan soldiers how to suture. The soldiers will use this skill to help
doctors in the ANA's 4th Bde garrison clinic at Multinational Base Tarin Kot.
Photo by Sgt Jan Meciar
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