Training Afghans as instructors aids ultimate goal of change for the best
Capt. Richard Barker
25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WOLVERINE, Afghanistan — Eight Afghan Soldiers of the Afghan Pathfinder Platoon, 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 205th Corps, graduated from the third Afghanistan Pathfinder Partnership Academy, here, Sept. 12.
Col. Frank Tate, commander, 25th Combat Aviation Bde., 25th Infantry Division, and Col. Barat, commander, 4th/2-205th, presented certificates to the graduates.
U.S. Army Pathfinders from Company F, 2nd Battalion, 25th Avn. Regiment, 25th CAB, supervised the course while Afghan instructors taught hands-on training and most of the classroom instruction.
Afghan instructors are graduates of previous Pathfinder academies.
“The Afghan instructors were able to teach many portions of the course without any supervision, which is the ultimate goal we are reaching toward,” said Sgt. 1st Class John Jackson, F/2-25th CAB and supervising instructor, 3rd Afghanistan Pathfinder Partnership Academy,
Sgt. Hussain, 4th/2-205th Corps, a graduate of the second Pathfinder Academy, explained why he volunteered to be an instructor.
“I came back because I wanted to help our own soldiers with the ultimate goal of changing Afghanistan for the best in the future,” Hussain said.
Jackson added that, with the addition of Afghan instructors, the course has improved in ways that are a direct benefit to Afghan soldiers in the course.
“We have learned lessons from previous courses about what the Afghan soldiers need and how they learn, which has allowed us to adapt to better meet their needs,” Jackson said.
“There was plenty of experience we gained in this course, which we will be using right away, such as order of movement and air assaults,” said graduate Sgt. Sultan-Alie, 4th/2-205th Corps.
Hussain echoed Sultan’s comments regarding the necessary capability to perform air assaults.
“With this training, our soldiers can now do air assault operations and really take a part in contributing to the safety and security of our country,” Hussain said.
Besides learning about air assault operations, Afghan soldiers learned about sling load operations, medical lifesaving skills, tactical site exploitation and order of movement operations.
Pathfinders navigate their way through foreign terrain and establish safe landing zones for airborne and air assault Soldiers or Army aircraft. They can also parachute into remote areas, navigate their way to unobstructed locations and then relay those coordinates back to a command center.