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U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. David M. Clark, right, the senior enlisted leader of U.S. Forces Afghanistan, speaks with Afghan National Army noncommissioned officers at Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, Aug. 13, 2017. More than 100 ANA NCOs completed a three-day seminar led by Afghan senior enlisted leaders, who stressed the importance of leadership in combat and technical and tactical proficiency. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins)

Photo by Sgt. Lucas Hopkins

215th Corps strengthens NCO capacity through three-day training session

16 Aug 2017 | Sgt. Lucas Hopkins II Marine Expeditionary Force

Senior leaders from Afghan National Army 215th Corps held a noncommissioned officer leadership seminar with assistance from U.S. Marines with Task Force Southwest at Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan, Aug. 12-14, 2017.

The three-day evolution was an opportunity for 215th Corps NCOs to gain a better understanding of their assigned tasks as small-unit leaders.

“The primary focus of the course was to introduce the new Corps sergeant major to all of the senior enlisted across the Corps,” said U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Darrell L. Carver, the Sergeant Major of Task Force Southwest. “Second was to talk about what their duties and responsibilities are by rank and by unit, to really drill down exactly what an NCO in the Corps’ duties and responsibilities are with regards to the execution of their mission.”

Afghan National Army Command Sgt. Maj. Alhaj Wafa became the 215th Corps’ senior enlisted leader in late July 2017, and is seeking to continue strengthening the aptitude of his NCOs.

“His focus of effort is right along with what Brig. Gen. Ahmadzai, the Corps commander, is trying to accomplish, which is build capacity, train his soldiers and take the fight to the enemy,” said Carver.

The course also provided insight on military-specific subjects, including pay, career progression and reporting corruption to name a few. The consensus from both U.S. and Afghan senior leaders was that the NCOs are the link between commanders and junior soldiers, and their performance is critical in the fight against insurgency within the region.

“I think it can be said across every military organization out there, that when a country focuses on developing its NCO corps, the professionalism of their military increases dramatically," said Carver.

Task Force Southwest remains steadfast working alongside 215th Corps and other Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to further enhance security and stability in Helmand Province, and with well-trained NCOs, ANDSF are better equipped to combat insurgency.

“Continue to take care of one another, and continue to take the fight to the enemy,” said Command Sgt. Maj. David M. Clark, the senior enlisted leader of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan. “The weeks ahead will not be easy. [This] will continue to take hard work, and the success will come from the performance of the noncommissioned officers of this Corps.”

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