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AFGHAN FORCES STEPPING UP

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Disarming IEDs, Training New Afghan Troops
By Harold Hutchison

ISAF has not only been fighting insurgents, but they have also been helping establish a means for Afghans to fight the Taliban themselves. One area where this has shown has been in disarming IEDs.

On 11 April, Afghan units disarmed three IEDs in ISAF’s Regional Command East. One IED was disarmed in Wardak province, another in Logar province, and the third in Ghazni province. This took the total of IEDs cleared in RC-East to 28 over the course of the last week.

At the same time, Afghan National Army commandos with the 7th Kandakhave been training ANA recruits on using the M224 60mm mortar. This mortar is often found at the company level for light infantry.

“The ANA instructors were doing a really great job,” said Gunnery Sergeant Joseph Smith one of the Marines with the 215th Corps Security Force Assistance Advisor Team that observed the training. “The [new soldiers] liked that [senior] ANA soldiers were teaching them. The instructors gave the [new] soldiers a great deal of confidence and trust in their system, knowing once we leave, they’ll have their own [subject matter experts] to teach them new things.”

American forces are reportedly slated to pull out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014