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An Afghan National Army soldier speaks during a Helmand Regional Military Training Center graduation ceremony at Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, April 26, 2017. Members of the ANA 215th Corps, U.S. Army soldiers with Task Force Forge and Marines and Sailors with Task Force Southwest attended the ceremony, which commemorated more than 60 ANA soldiers’ recent completion of a six-week medical training course. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins)

Photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins

ANA soldiers complete medical training course

30 Apr 2017 | Sgt. Lucas Hopkins II Marine Expeditionary Force

More than 60 soldiers with the Afghan National Army 215th Corps graduated from a Helmand Regional Military Training Center medical training course April 26, 2017.

Led by ANA instructors with assistance and advising from U.S. Army soldiers with Task Force Forge, the six-week class enhanced its participants’ abilities to effectively treat wounded counterparts on the battlefield.

“We are working shoulder-to-shoulder with our advisors and would not have been able to do this without them,” said ANA Col. Shahwali Zazai, the commanding officer of the Helmand RMTC. “The American advisors work hard with us… and they are very successful with our trainees.”

On any battlefield, medical personnel have the crucial task of returning their fellow service members back to the fight, but more importantly, saving lives. Their presence is essential especially in a region where the ANA is frequently involved in heavy fighting with adversaries.

“Medics fill a vital role in the military. This is our first job, to help our brothers, so we [must] always be prepared,” said an ANA medic instructor.

Task Force Forge is set to be replaced by the U.S. Marine unit Task Force Southwest as the primary advisory unit in Helmand Province. Their mission will be a continuation and progression of training, advising and assisting the ANA 215th Corps and 505th Zone National Police.

The oncoming unit, which is comprised of approximately 300 Marines and Sailors, will spend the next several months working with their Afghan partners to bolster security and stability throughout the region.

“We are looking forward to the [Marine Corps’] instructions, help and support so that we can do even better… [and] can extend our training and capabilities,” said Zazai.

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