Afghanistan — General Praises Afghan Commandos’ Capabilities

WASHINGTON, April 12, 2010 — The NATO train­ing mis­sion in Afghanistan is work­ing with Afghan com­man­dos on the road to self-suf­fi­cien­cy.
“We do have a lot of chal­lenges here, but a gem in the Afghan Army are the com­man­dos,” Maj. Gen. David R. Hogg, the organization’s deputy com­man­der for Army forces, said dur­ing an April 10 “DoD Live” blog­gers roundtable. 

Hogg described the com­man­dos as “high-end” fight­ers. Sev­en com­man­do bat­tal­ions per­form the entire spec­trum of mil­i­tary work, he said, includ­ing increas­ing counter-insur­gency capabilities. 

“They do the full spec­trum that would you expect from a high-end light infantry force,” he said. 

The com­man­dos are con­sid­ered an elite force, and they’re trained in advanced infantry skills as well as being skilled in tac­tics. They also have a low attri­tion rate, Hogg said, because they are paid more than oth­er sol­diers, they’re part­nered with oth­er forces, and they have a more pre­dictable work schedule. 

“It is all about hon­or and being a part of Afghanistan,” he said. “They say, ‘It’s my coun­try and my duty to serve.’ They believe in their coun­try.” The train­ing mis­sion is try­ing to do more to recruit com­man­dos. Recruiters are going out to the lead­ers in the Afghan com­mu­ni­ty for rec­om­men­da­tions and are adver­tis­ing. “We are going to tar­get more folks from the south­ern sec­tor to come into the army,” Hogg said, not­ing that area is less well rep­re­sent­ed in the army’s ranks than the north. Hogg said 8,000 new recruits joined the army in Decem­ber, and that he’d like to main­tain those num­bers on the recruit­ing front. 

“The recruit­ing is going good,” he said, but he acknowl­edged that some his­tor­i­cal­ly tough recruit­ing times are ahead. With more agri­cul­tur­al and sea­son­al jobs open­ing, he said, he hopes to still be able to reach the goal of 134,000 sol­diers in the Afghan army. Afghanistan cur­rent­ly has 112,700 soldiers. 

“We are mak­ing a lot of progress,” Hogg said, “but we have a lot of chal­lenges ahead of us. I think the oper­a­tions that will hap­pen are an indi­ca­tion of the direc­tion we are heading.” 

The blog­gers round­table was held in con­junc­tion with the 2010 Mil­blog Con­fer­ence, which brought togeth­er mil­i­tary blog­gers and sup­port­ers to dis­cuss the rewards and chal­lenges of social media in a mil­i­tary envi­ron­ment. Price Floyd, prin­ci­pal deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for pub­lic affairs, par­tic­i­pat­ed in the ques­tion-and-answer ses­sion. Floyd asked Hogg about the role of blog­ging and social media in Afghanistan, and whether deployed ser­vice­mem­bers are encour­aged to par­tic­i­pate in social media. 

Hogg replied that Army Lt. Gen. William V. Cald­well IV, com­man­der of NATO Train­ing Mis­sion Afghanistan, is a strong pro­po­nent of social media and blogs. 

“It is absolute­ly encour­aged to blog,” Hogg said. “Social net­work­ing [and] blog­ging is a big deal for the com­mand, and that is because Gen­er­al Cald­well has made it a big deal for us, and it is a way to edu­cate and inform what we are doing out there.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →