U.S., Afghan Soldiers Partner in Eastern Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — Amer­i­can and Afghan sol­diers met here recent­ly at this east­ern Afghanistan out­post to dis­cuss bat­tle­field sup­port oper­a­tions and train­ing needs.

“Hav­ing key leader engage­ments is vital in facil­i­tat­ing our rela­tion­ship with the ANA (Afghan Nation­al Army),” said Army Maj. Ebony Lam­bert, the exec­u­tive offi­cer for the 172nd Sup­port Bat­tal­ion.

The Amer­i­cans dis­cussed their desire to have Afghan sol­diers work with them in the oper­a­tions cell, offi­cials said. This, offi­cials said, would enable Afghan troops to see how their U.S. coun­ter­parts obtain and employ real-time oper­a­tional infor­ma­tion from the bat­tle­field.

“It is going to give them a bet­ter under­stand­ing of our mil­i­tary deci­sion-mak­ing process and what each com­pa­ny does to exe­cute the commander’s intent,” said Army Com­mand Sgt. Major Ter­ry Bur­ton, of Roanoke, Va.

The Afghans and Amer­i­cans also dis­cussed improve­ments to enhance train­ing in order to sup­port the needs of the Afghan sol­diers as they become more pro­fi­cient.

The week before the meet­ing, Afghan sol­diers par­tic­i­pat­ed in joint med­ical train­ing and a joint sol­dier of the month board. These events pro­vide the Afghan troops with skills nec­es­sary to improve as a fight­ing force, Lam­bert said.

“I think we were suc­cess­ful in artic­u­lat­ing what the goals are for train­ing,” Lam­bert said.

Meet­ing and shar­ing knowl­edge with their Afghan coun­ter­parts helps the Amer­i­cans strength­en the rela­tion­ships that they have estab­lished, allow­ing for clos­er ties and mak­ing it eas­i­er to com­mu­ni­cate and work togeth­er.

“These meet­ings improve our part­ner­ships and increase our abil­i­ty to do train­ing with them,” Lam­bert said.

With a rapid­ly improv­ing Afghan army poised to take over Region­al Com­mand East’s bat­tle space, offi­cials said, face-to-face dis­cus­sions are vital in the process of tran­si­tion to the Afghan Nation­al Army tak­ing over com­mand of secu­ri­ty for Afghanistan.

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