CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
In an effort to help the Afghan National Army sustain themselves in future operations, coalition forces are implementing mentorship programs to teach ANA soldiers different skills.
Six soldiers from the 215th Corps Logistics Battalion, ANA, graduated from a basic radio operator instructor course June 8, 2011, at Camp Shorabak, Afghanistan.
Marines with the Embedded Partnering Team, 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) hosted the week-long course to ensure the soldiers have the knowledge and experience needed to conduct training for other ANA soldiers.
“We are instilling in them the same values we have as Marines,” explained Sgt. Roddney L. Haywood, from Warren, Ohio, the communications mentor for the EPT and for the students during the course. “Marines teach Marines, and soldiers can teach soldiers … That’s the principle we are trying to show them.
“We want them to be able to go back to their units and teach other soldiers about their equipment without our help,” Haywood added.
During the course, the soldiers learned the technical aspect of the radios and how to properly set up communication with the different frequencies and channels.
In addition to the technical aspects, the course also focused on different teaching techniques. The Marines taught the soldiers how to properly introduce themselves to a class and how to create a lesson plan that incorporates classroom lectures and practical application.
“I think the real challenge was the final evaluation,” Haywood said. “We had them instruct fellow soldiers from other sections and other companies on how to use the radios properly.
“We want them to be comfortable and proficient when they teach their classes,” He added. “We want them to be force multipliers so they can start teaching and relying on each other whenever they need help … [the Marines] are not going to be in Afghanistan forever.”
Six new basic radio operator instructors graduated from the course, and they are prepared to teach their own classes on the PRC-1077 radio, which in the end makes the ANA a more independent force.