Yesterday marked 100 days since the formal activation of NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan.
The first 100 days have been pretty amazing…from Washington DC to London to Brussels to a dusty town in Helmand Province, everyone is working together to enable accountable Afghan-led security. And Afghan and Coalition communicators are working together to connect the all the organizations involved.
Here are just a few highlights. from a comm perspective:
- We expanded the enduring comm infrastructure of the ANP, installing radio systems at ten ANP district headquarters, dozens of radio repeaters throughout Afghanistan, and over 1000 vehicle radios supporting the ANP.
- Working entirely on their own, Ministry of the Interior communicators installed new antennas and towers, improving the ANP’s long-range communication capability.
- The ANA deployable comm unit accomplished their first-ever operational deployments…supporting Afghan Special Operations Forces during an insurgent attack in Kabul and operations in Helmand
- The ANA senior communicator took an extremely professional response to radio shortage, cross-leveling radios between Corps, converting radios when necessary, and purchasing gap-filler radios on their own.
- The ANA graduated their first five radio repair instructors ever…these five soldiers went on to lead the first-ever radio maintenance course taught by ANA instructors!
- We worked with Microsoft to produce full-Dari versions of Office and SharePoint software…though Afghans can type using a Dari font, the menus and help screens of our current software all in English.
- We installed the first military BlackBerry server in Afghanistan, built a deployable comm capability for the NTM-A commander, and doubled the size of our Coalition classified network.
- We implemented new network permissions, dramatically increasing transparency about NTM-A and the Afghan National Security Forces.
Bottom line: It’s been a wild ride already, and there’s LOTS more to come!
* Photo by MCC F. Julian Carroll, USN, from Defense Imagery.
** Photo by SSgt Larry E. Reid Jr., USAF, from Defense Imagery.