U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, answers media questions during a visit to the Kabul Military Training Center in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 11, 2018. Nicholson observed various demonstrations by the Afghan National Army-Territorial Force which aims to maintain stabilization throughout local villages. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Sharida Jackson)
By: Jordan Belser, Resolute Support Public Affairs
KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, the NATO-led Resolute Support commander, visited Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers at the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC), June 11.
Nicholson received a briefing from Afghan National Army leadership before viewing live checkpoint security and casualty care exercises. The Kabul Military Training Center is the "basic training” facility for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), and is designed to provide new soldiers with the skills needed to join the conventional force.
"The training that we saw today was very professional,” Nicholson told the troops in attendance. "When you graduate from this training, you will be ready to defend your communities. Your family and your country appreciate your sacrifice.”
Nicholson then met with various training center toleis (companies) to learn more about the specific training they receive, and to thank the soldiers for their service.
"This is a very courageous decision you each have made,” Nicholson said. "And it is selfless – you are putting the needs of your family and your country ahead of your own. For this decision, you have our eternal respect, as well as our gratitude.”
While all soldiers at the Kabul Military Training Center will receive the same baseline training, some will be assigned to the Afghan National Army-Territorial Force (ANA-TF). This new territorial force is designed to hold newly secured districts, and consists of locally recruited, nationally trained Afghans.
"Our Afghan partners, supported by the NATO Allies and partners, are training the ANA-TF recruits to be an effective and professional local security force that will represent and protect the communities they come from,” said British Army Col. Nigel Rhodes, Resolute Support chief of future plans. "Working as part of regular ANA kandaks and brigades, they will focus on local security, allowing their regular ANA colleagues to go on the offensive and expand GIROA’s influence.”
As the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces continue to grow in capacity and capability, the Afghan National Army-Territorial Force and the Kabul Military Training Center will play a key role in leading the Taliban to reconciliation.
Speaking at an impromptu press conference following the visit, Nicholson reaffirmed the coalition’s support for President Ashraf Ghani’s recent ceasefire proposal issued, June 7.
"I want to express our respect and our gratitude for His Excellency President Ghani, for his courageous decision to offer a ceasefire over Eid,” said Nicholson.
Established in 2015, Resolute Support (RS) is a NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan’s security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission. Its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner.