Afghanistan Officers get the word
2 February 2016
For the first time in its two-year history, every instructor and officer cadet at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy will own printed copies of Afghan Military Doctrine to call their own.
More than 2,000 books, in sets of two important publications; the Small Unit Leader's Handbook and the Battle Drills manual, have been printed and gifted to the Academy, thanks to a joint initiative by British and Australian mentors and the Australian Embassy's Defence Cooperation Program (DCP).
Mentor to the Commanding Officer of the Academy's 2nd Kandak (Battalion), Lieutenant Colonel Michael Freeman said the manuals will help to reinforce learning.
"The printed doctrine will improve the delivery of lessons and instructor knowledge," he said.
"More importantly, the books will allow the cadets to learn at their own pace.
"Previously, cadets relied on the delivery of lessons only.
"Now, if a cadet attends a lesson and they don't quite understand a concept, they can go back to their room and study at night.
"Cadets also learn at different rates; for those cadets that are really keen, the books will allow them to step forward ahead of the pack."
The Small Unit Leader's Handbook is a guide for junior officers in the conduct of offensive and defensive operations.
It contains battle check lists, hints and tips on how to write orders, weapon specifications, diagrams of enemy tactics, techniques and more.
The Battle Drills manual is a guide for Squad, Platoon and Company level tactics including ambush, attack and convoy protection drills.
"These books are survival guides for a young leader on the battle field," Lieutenant Colonel Freeman said.
"They are fundamental in the development of the Afghan National Army’s future leaders."
Commandant of the Afghan National Army Officers Academy (ANAOA), Brigadier General Muhammad Sharif Sharifi said the books will have a significant effect on the consolidation of learning at the Academy.
"I am very grateful to the Australian government because now, every officer cadet will have tactical reference books to prepare for their training and exercises," he said.
"With these books, our training will be very effective."
The ANAOA, modelled on the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in the United Kingdom (and similarly the Royal Military College Duntroon), is designed to teach Afghan National Army officers key leadership and tactical skills.
The 12-month officers' course is broken into three parts.
The first term covers basic soldier skills, the second term is centred on planning and platoon leading and the third term is counter insurgency and instructor module focused.
Members of the Australian Defence Force have been central to the early success of ANAOA, proving mentoring and force protection to advise and assist the Academy's Afghan instructors as part of a five-nation, British-led task force based at Camp Qargha.