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Aussies help Afghan Army boost capability

By None , Australian Dept. of Defence

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Australian Cpl. Cameron Butler an engineer with the 1st Mentoring Task Force shares a joke with Sgt. Gulrahman from the Afghan National Army.
Australian Cpl. Cameron Butler an engineer with the 1st Mentoring Task Force shares a joke with Sgt. Gulrahman from the Afghan National Army.

May 18, 2010 — URUZGAN, Afghanistan (May 17, 2010) — The capability of the Afghan National Army to plan and conduct operations in Uruzgan Province continues to grow.

The 1st Mentoring Task Force (MTF-1) is the first Australian Defence Force rotation to provide Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) support to the ANA 4th Brigade Headquarters.

Officer Commanding the Brigade Headquarters OMLT, Maj. Paul Manoel, said that partnered mentoring was delivering critical skills and developing the ANA Brigade to take over security operations in Uruzgan Province.  

“Partnered mentoring is paying dividends – we are experiencing real progress in ANA leadership at the Brigade Headquarters thanks to the work of our mentors and eagerness of the ANA personnel,” Manoel said. “Each day the ANA are moving closer to being in a position to assume responsibility for security operations in Uruzgan Province, however there is still a way to go until they can successfully achieve this.”

Manoel said the MTF-1 mentors partnering ANA personnel operate in a challenging, but rewarding work environment where cultural differences are overcome on a daily basis. “The difficulties faced when bridging language barriers are complex, so it’s all about breaking through those barriers to instil the guiding principles of military operations.

“We see great work from Afghan soldiers on partnered, dismounted patrols across Uruzgan and the use of artillery equipment due to the efforts of Australian mentors," Manoel said. “We will continue these efforts and simultaneously work to enhance the skills and confidence of Afghan headquarters and logistics staff to plan, conduct and sustain these complex and dangerous operations."