FORWARD OPERATING BASE DELARAM, Afghanistan --
Soldiers with the 5th Kandak of the Afghan National Army can now communicate properly using radios and teach their fellow soldiers, which takes them one step closer to autonomy.
Marines with the Embedded Partnering Team, Combat Logistics Battalion 8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) trained some of the 5th Kandak soldiers on how to operate the communication gear at Forward Operating Base Delaram, Afghanistan, April 4, 2011.
While this isn’t the first time the soldiers have used radios, it is the first time they’ve had a formal class on them.
“Our main goal is to get them comfortable using a radio,” said Lance Cpl. Chad Cessna, a radio operator attached to the EPT, CLB-8, 2nd MLG (Fwd.). “We want them to know how to use it, how to troubleshoot it and just become more efficient with it.”
The month-long course covered setting up the radios, understanding the different frequencies, and proper radio etiquette.
“We’re teaching them how to communicate,” said Cessna. “It’s a fundamental you need before you can do anything else. If you don’t know who to shoot, where to shoot, or where to go, you’ll have problems.”
The course also covered how to send proper reports and what information is crucial to recovery and medical evacuation.
“Communication is really important during convoys,” said Sgt. Khadadad, a soldier with the 5th Kandak. “No matter where we are we can talk to the [command operations center]. If we hit an [improvised explosive device] or if we get ambushed, we can let them know.”
During the final training days, the soldiers were given scenarios and had to properly report the incidents to the COC, using the notes they took throughout the course. The notes will also help them when they return to their unit where they will teach their fellow soldiers what they’ve learned.
“When [the Marines] are gone, who’s going to teach them?” Cessna added. “One of the biggest things we’re trying to do here is train the trainer.”
With demanding missions and other training, it would be impossible for all of the soldiers to attend this communication course.
“I can teach these guys how to teach their buddies, and in the end it’s the same result,” Cessna concluded. “Eventually, all of the soldiers will know a little bit about the radios and how to use them.”