Afghanistan: Army Grows Stronger

By Dialogo
October 01, 2010

Just six months after activating the NATO Training Mission Afghanistan, a
deputy commander announced that changes to the training program have produced marked
improvements in the quality of troops entering the Afghan National Army.
During the June 2010 U.S. Department of Defense Live Bloggers Roundtable,
Army Brig. Gen. Gary Patton of the NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan discussed the
results of the first 180-day assessment. Patton, who is also Deputy Commander for
the Army Combined Security Transition Command–Afghanistan, highlighted remaining
challenges, along with some significant achievements. “We now see an Army that is
meeting its growth objectives and lowering its attrition rate,” Patton said.
He said aggressive training plans are in place for 2011 to develop leaders,
including up to 4,500 officers and 15,000 noncommissioned officers. For instance, he
said, the NATO Training Mission is taking the top 150 recruits from every basic
warrior training class and sending them directly into the noncommissioned officer
training course.
Patton also pledged that 2011 will be “the year of the enabler.” He said
training programs will turn out specialists in military intelligence, military
police, route clearance and engineering. All of these specialties will be critical
to building a self-sustaining military.