GARDEZ, Afghanistan – Eleven Afghan National soldiers from the 203rd Corps completed their first Field Artillery Leader's course at the Regional Military Training Center on Forward Operating Base Thunder, August 8.
"We are now able to complete manual gunnery procedures," said Afghan Army 1st Lt. Noorullah, 203rd Corps field artillery battery commander.
The 11 graduates were a combination of noncommissioned officers and officers from all four of the Corps' brigades and the Corps' headquarters.
Field artillery advisors from Task Force-Southeast and the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade supported the course as subject matter experts.
"The course provided enhanced training for field artillery non-commissioned officers and officers," said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Silvis, Task Force-Southeast field artillery advisor. "They can take these skills back to their organic units and refine best practices, improve the professionalism of the field artillery corps and increase the Afghan army's ability to protect the population with increased lethality."
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Freeman, a Task Force Southeast field artillery advisor from 4th Battalion, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, teaches Afghan National Army students in the 203rd Corps' inaugural Field Artillery Leader's Course how to adjust the pantel sight to properly aim the D-30 122 mm howitzer, July 9 at the Regional Military Training Center on Forward Operating Base Thunder (U.S. Army photo by 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade)
The six-week course began, July 1, and provided instruction on the Afghan National Army's primary field artillery weapon, the D-30, a 122 mm howitzer. Classes included gun line operations, the fire direction center, and the forward observer's role.
"Training like this improves the corps' field artillery capabilities and also develops the professionalization and expertise of the non-commissioned officer corps in the Afghan Army," said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Freeman, a Task Force Southeast field artillery advisor from 4th Battalion, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade.
Skills developed during the course include proper procedures for safely occupying the firing point, processing a fire mission, giving and following fire commands, planning for offensive and defensive fires, analyzing targets and use of the fire support system.
The top students were selected to serve as instructors during future iterations of the Field Artillery Leader's course. "Selecting leading students as instructors will improve the long-term sustainability and professionalism of 203rd Corps' field artillerymen," said Freeman.
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.