“French, Portuguese and Romanian militaries are contributing a new mentorship element to the Afghan National Army’s Officer Candidate School and Team Leader Course at Camp Alamo, part of the Kabul Military Training Center on the outskirts of the Afghan capital.
The two courses, often referred to as “train the trainer” programs, are expanding their staff to include officers from the three countries who will observe, provide constructive feedback and recommendations, and mentor Afghan instructors.
A variety of lessons including literacy, military tactics, compass use, health care and combat readiness prepare ANA officers to lead the future soldiers under their command. The French, Portuguese and Romanian mentors’ goals are to enhance the courses, develop better Afghan leaders, and build closer relationships with the ANA.
“Mentoring makes the training complete,” said Lt. Abdul Nawab, an ANA instructor who teaches the map reading portion of the Team Leader Course. “I can learn a lot from this and hope the [course] remains the same.“
The Leader Course’s commander, Maj. Abdul Wodad,wants his instructors to learn from the new mentors and teach what they learn to their students. He believes the mentoring provides skills the new officers can take to their unit.
The addition of the mentors is having a positive effect on the ANA instructors and their students. Signs of progress have already shown in the quality of instruction and students’ progression through their lessons.
“The [students and instructors] are improving day by day,” said Wodad.
“Improvement is a big victory for us,” said Portugal Army Capt. Fausto Campos, a mentor for the TLC, who believes this is the first mentoring program the Portugal military has taken part in.
Ultimately, the purpose of adding the multinational mentors is to help the ANA progress towards a fully operational military capable of providing for the security and stability of their country.
The company commander for OCS, ANA Capt. Habibul hag Fazli, who has a French mentor, has faith in his new mentor and the benefit mentorship will have for the ANA.
“The [ANA] will be ready to defend their country,” said Fazli.”