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Army March 29, 2012
THE Afghan National Army (ANA) took a posi-
tive step forward in February as its 4 Bde Artillery
Battery, 205 Hero Corps, conducted a live-fire certi-
fication practice shoot to prove operational readiness
at a range near Tarin Kot.
ANA gunners conducted a series of fire missions
to neutralise targets. Although International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) assessors looked on, the ANA
soldiers operated independently of ISAF involvement.
During the certification, Afghan soldiers obtained
targets and calculated range and bearing, allowing
the gunners to fire accurately up to several kilometres
According to the mentors, great team work on the
gun line was apparent as the crews swung into action,
conducting their drills perfectly to put rounds on tar-
gets.The certification training ran for three months and
was conducted by international partners with the sup-
port and assistance of MTF 4's Operational Mentoring
and Liaison Team.
Capt John Ronayne, of MTF 4, said the Afghan bat-
tery members showed commitment at all levels.
"The NCOs on the gun line have stepped up and
taken ownership -- running their gun crews very effec-
tively to achieve first-rate results ... striking targets
without a single breach of safety," he said.
Capt Ronayne said the senior sergeant fire direction
controllers had learnt the most technical trade in artil-
"Their mathematics is flawless, their application of
fire direction, brilliant," he said.
He said the fire support observers who called in the
missions were drawn from desk jobs at headquarters
and given jobs in which they could excel.
"They are very good officers who have proven very
proficient in calling in fire missions with great accu-
The way forward was summed up between fire mis-
sions by an ANA gunner who participated in the train-
ing. "God willing, we can defend our land," he said.
Gunners fire own missions
More Afghans achieve live-fire certification
Guns blazing: ANA Gnr Habi Bullah fires the 122mm D-30 Howitzer during the 4th Bde's
live-fire certification shoot at Tarin Kot. Inset, MTF 4's Sgt Mark Harrop helps ANA artillerymen
prepare rounds for firing.
Photos by Sgt Mick Davis
AFTER a visit to Afghanistan early this month, newly
appointed Defence Parliamentary Secretary Mike Kelly
said he was "deeply impressed" with the efforts of
ADF personnel deployed to the MEAO during a visit to
Afghanistan earlier this month.
"This visit was a valuable opportunity to meet
Australian troops on the ground," he said. "Their job is
difficult and dangerous and they deserve our thanks."
Dr Kelly visited Kabul, Kandahar and Tarin Kot for
briefings on the progress of the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) mission, and the transition
planning for 2014.
The visit was a chance for Dr Kelly to meet with
members of the Afghan Government, including
Defence Minister Wardak, to discuss campaign pro-
gress, transition, and governance and development
issues. He also met with the executive director of the
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission
Mohammad Musa Mahmodi.
"I am heartened by the progress being made in
Afghanistan. The briefings I have received about the
Afghanistan transition have reflected positively on the
work being done by Australian personnel attached to
ISAF, as well as the work being done by the ADF in
Tarin Kot and Kandahar," Dr Kelly said.
Chief of Air Force Air-Mshl Geoff Brown accompa-
nied Dr Kelly for the visit and took the opportunity to
meet ADF personnel deployed throughout the MEAO.
Impressed: Defence Parliamentary Secretary Dr
Mike Kelly addresses troops at Tarin Kot.
Photo by Sgt Mick Davis
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