Army Reserve Soldiers Train Afghan National Army

Article excerpt

Global News

Recently, more than thirty Soldiers with the 75th Division (Training Support), an Active component/Reserve component training support division headquartered in Houston, Texas, volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan for an initial six-month deployment to train the Afghan National Army (ANA) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Usually, members of the 75th serve as Observer Controllers/Trainers who train and mobilize Army Reserve and National Guard Soldiers in the Southwestern and Midwestern parts of the United States. However, because of the current strains imposed upon the active Army by the continuing hostilities in Iraq, members of the 75th were asked to deploy to Afghanistan to provide their support.

Still a dangerous place even two years after the fall of the Taliban and the escape of Osama bin Laden, Afghanistan remains plagued by attacks against coalition Soldiers and Afghan civilians. For most of the 75th's Soldiers, this would be their first overseas deployment in a combat zone.

Upon their arrival, members of the 75th were separated into jobs that best fit their specialties, including finance, light infantry, and installation operations. "When we first arrived here, we helped the 10th Mountain set up finance operations at Camp Phoenix," said Maj. Isaac Johnson, who was placed in charge of the finance section that paid the U.S. Soldiers, the ANA, and the coalition forces.

According to him, he and Staff Sgt. Karmen San Nicolas made it more convenient for the Soldiers by enabling them to receive their pay at Camp Phoenix rather than Kabul or Bagram, both of which were more than an hour's drive away.

Maj. Tim Snyder, a member of the Division's 2nd Brigade, was the Senior Team Combat advisor for the 3rd Brigade Training Team (BTT). he explained that his BTT received several hundred ANA soldiers who had graduated from the Kabul Military Training Center, the equivalent of the U.S. Army's basic training.

"We trained them in advanced infantry tactics, and how to function as a battalion to perform combat and stabilization operations," said Snyder. …