Afghanistan/UK — Scots soldiers mentor Afghan forces in Helmand’s green zone

Sol­diers from the First Bat­tal­ion The Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land (1 SCOTS), are part­ner­ing and men­tor­ing the Afghan Nation­al Army (ANA) deep in the green zone near Nad ‘Ali in Hel­mand province.

The Afghan patrol com­man­der (right) and Major Mark Sud­d­a­by (left) shake hands after anoth­er suc­cess­ful patrol
Source: Cor­po­ral Bar­ry Lloyd, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

1 SCOTS pro­vide Advi­so­ry Teams to the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces and have been car­ry­ing out oper­a­tions and train­ing along­side their Afghan col­leagues.

Major Mark Sud­d­a­by said:

“We have now become advi­so­ry teams. In each of the Kan­dak or Tolay loca­tions (types of ANA units) we have a two man team which is usu­al­ly an offi­cer and a sergeant. Their job is to advise and men­tor the ANA in their every­day duties, oper­a­tions and admin­is­tra­tion.”

The advi­so­ry teams mir­ror the loca­tions of the ISAF and ANA ground hold­ing troops. In these loca­tions, ANA troops are part­ner­ing with ISAF forces to allow them to learn nec­es­sary mil­i­tary skills:

“We men­tor them on their patrols, we help them with the plan­ning of those patrols, and we go through after action reviews with them.

Sol­diers from 1st Bat­tal­ion The Roy­al Reg­i­ment of Scot­land and the Afghan Nation­al Army train togeth­er
Source: Cor­po­ral Bar­ry Lloyd, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

“We also look at their liv­ing con­di­tions and see what we can do to improve these.

“It real­ly goes across all the strands, from man­ning through to oper­a­tions, through to plan­ning, sig­nals etc…we’re try­ing to build the ANA into a mod­ern army,” said Major Sud­d­a­by.

The 1 SCOTS team in each loca­tion decides on the areas that the ANA needs to devel­op and con­ducts lessons using both demon­stra­tions and inter­preters. Recent­ly, Fourth Tolay has under­tak­en train­ing in casu­al­ty extrac­tion drills, what to do under fire and admin­is­tra­tion on oper­a­tions.

Instruc­tor Cor­po­ral Kevin Hope com­ment­ed:

“Actions speak loud­er than words when doing this, so if we do a lot of demos they pick it up a lot quick­er than if we just speak to them. What they see they will do.”

“Today we have been work­ing with the Fourth Tolay ANA to bring them on with their casu­al­ty extrac­tion drills.

The Afghan patrol com­man­der and Major Mark Sud­d­a­by on a joint patrol
Source: Cor­po­ral Bar­ry Lloyd, Min­istry of Defence, UK
Click to enlarge

“It is impor­tant for future ops togeth­er, we need to know that if an ISAF sol­dier falls or ANA sol­dier falls, we are singing off the same song sheet. So today we have just spent three hours going through our casu­al­ty extrac­tion drills.”

Fourth Tolay will be con­duct­ing a range of joint oper­a­tions with the Com­bined Force Nad ‘Ali over the com­ing months.

Sup­port­ing the growth in capac­i­ty and capa­bil­i­ty of the Afghan Secu­ri­ty Forces, through train­ing and men­tor­ing, is an essen­tial part of NATO’s strat­e­gy in Afghanistan.

The soon­er the Afghans can take respon­si­bil­i­ty for their own secu­ri­ty and car­ry out secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions with­out the need for ISAF sup­port, ensur­ing the long-term secu­ri­ty and sta­bil­i­ty of the coun­try, the soon­er British forces can come home.

Press release
Min­istry of Defence, UK