ISAF News

Add to Facebook
Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy Appoints Key Staff

Story by British Lieutenant Colonel Lorna Ward
International Security Assistance Force

KABUL, Afghanistan (Jan. 7, 2013) - The Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy (ANAOA) came one step closer to its opening day over the weekend with the appointment of key staff. At the vast site in Kabul of the Afghan National Defence University – of which the ANAOA will be a part - senior commanders of the Afghan National Army gathered with representatives from their coalition partner countries including Lt. Gen. Nick Carter CBE DSO (Late RGJ), International Security Assistance Force Deputy Commander and Commander of UK forces in Afghanistan, to congratulate the individuals entrusted with the future success of the academy.

Maj. Gen. Payenda, the Inspector General of the ANA, remembered the day this project was born on a handshake between British Prime Minister David Cameron and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Since the signing of the agreement on 19th July last year, he said, we have come very far and achieved huge progress to get to where we are today. Alongside partner countries Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Denmark, the UK is providing mentors and training to instructors with the aim that, working alongside Afghan Army leaders, they will create an officers’ academy modeled on the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) in the UK.

From the windows of Massoud Hall perched on the hillside, the construction of the academy buildings spreads out across the plain surrounded by snow-covered mountains.  In just a few short months, carefully selected officer cadets will begin the first commissioning course. There will be three intakes a year, with courses lasting 42 weeks each. Payenda and Brig. Rob Magowan, British contingent Chief of Staff, recently nominated fourteen so-called ‘Master Trainers’ who will shortly be sent to the RMAS for instructor training.

Their leadership will be well settled-in at the ANAOA Headquarters by then. Brig. Gen. Sharif, who completed staff training at Indian Staff College, was introduced at the weekend as the new Commandant of the academy. His Deputy and Director of Training, Lt. Col. Feda Hussein, is a graduate of the Advanced Command and Staff College (ACSC) in the UK. The new Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Qais Mangal is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the ACSC, and a proud wearer of the British Royal Marine Commando dagger. He said he hoped to bring his extensive experience from the British military system back to his own academy and aspiring officers.

Carter said what a great honour it was to be there, alongside his great friend Gen. Karimi, the Afghan Chief of the General Staff, whom he first met in 2002. It was from his time as a cadet at RMAS in 1967/68 that Karimi had been inspired to create the Afghan officers academy and without his vision Gen Carter said, we would not be where we are today. We have now, he said, a good team of foreign advisors who have arrived to work with their Afghan counterparts at the Academy, which is on track for its first Kandak in September this year. This is a significant commitment by coalition partners, he added, and one which will be a lasting legacy for years to come.

Both he and Karimi agreed there is nothing more important to a professional army like the Afghan National Army today, than leadership and a leadership academy. And that this is why the Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy project is so special and why both are looking forward to working closely together on it.

British Army Lt. Gen. Nick Carter CBE DSO (Late RGJ), International Security Assistance Force Deputy Commander,says a few words of congratulations to the appointees.

British Army Lt. Gen. Nick Carter CBE DSO (Late RGJ), International Security Assistance Force Deputy Commander, says a few words of congratulations to the appointees. (Photo by British Lieutenant Colonel Lorna Ward, ISAF Deputy Commander's Media Advisor)

New ANAOA Staff Officer appointees.

New Afghan National Army Officers’ Academy (ANAOA) Staff Officer appointees. (Photo by British Lieutenant Colonel Lorna Ward, ISAF Deputy Commander's Media Advisor)

 
Return To Hope - TrailerLeadership praised during ISAF Change of CommandKabul Mayor Announces New Project PartnershipsChinook MaintenanceLogistics Assistance