NATO Secretary General Witnesses Afghan Army Strength

BELGIUM–(ENWESPF)–12 April 2012.  During a visit to Afghanistan on 12 April, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen visited the Afghan commandos at their training facility at Camp Morehead located in the outskirts of Kabul.

“These special forces are among Afghanistan’s best and bravest,” said the Secretary General. “This shows that every day, Afghan security forces are growing in strength and skills.”

The Secretary General followed a raid operation training exercise performed by Afghan special forces at the camp, which is also the headquarters of the Afghan National Army (ANA) Special Operations Command.

There are currently 11,000 active Afghan commandos. Afghan special forces conducted almost 4,000 raids against insurgents with the help of ISAF forces in 2011. Support from ISAF is still required to provide them with the key logistical support such as air transport, medical and intelligence assets.

In the last few years, ISAF and the international community have focused their efforts on bolstering specialist capabilities of the Afghan national security forces to become a fully-fledged, professional and independent force. Over 40% of conventional operations are conducted by the Afghan national security forces.

“They will play a great part in ensuring the country’s stability after our mission is completed at the end of 2014,” Mr. Rasmussen stressed.

The Secretary General’s trip to Afghanistan also includes talks with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and General John Allen, the Commander of ISAF as well as other Afghan authorities.