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Security forces team trains Afghan air force counterparts

by Senior Airman David Carbajal
451st Air Expeditionary Wing

10/17/2011 - KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFNS) -- Members of the 451st Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance team have partnered with members of the 443rd Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron here to train the Afghan air force on small arms proficiency at Kandahar Air Wing.

The CATM Airmen held a training session about disassembling and troubleshooting the M-16A2 for three Afghan small-arms specialists Oct. 12 as part of an ongoing effort to build the Afghan military's self-sufficiency.

"Sergeant Saldana and I have been coming out for about three weeks now teaching them the ins and outs of the M-9, M-240 and M-16," said Tech. Sgt. Garry Clarke, the 451st ESFS CATM NCO in charge.

The Afghans have had little experience with the weapons that CATM has been training them on, said Clarke. "Many of them know the basics of weapons, but they're not as proficient with these firearms."

The CATM team trained the AAF members on the upper and lower assemblies of the M-16.

"We're taking it almost completely apart to explain the functions of the components," said Clarke.

The small-arms specialists are expected to begin training their troops on their issued weapons with the assistance of the 738th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group security forces advisers in the upcoming weeks.

"The Afghan air force small-arms specialists will be training their troops the same way our CATM guys train us back in the states," Krueger said.

"Training Afghan air force small-arms specialists is not a primary mission for the 451st ESFS CATM team, but the technical training we are providing our Afghan air force counterparts will help ensure mission success for the Afghan military and the air adviser program," said Staff Sgt. Mark Saldana.

Currently, the four security forces advisers at the 443rd AEAS are not trained CATM specialists.

"We like to bring out Airmen with specialized skills to help train the (Afghan air force) for a specific task like this one," Krueger said. "It helps them get training on mission-critical areas."

The CATM team will continue training the Afghan air force on other small arms over the next several weeks. Knowing and understanding these weapons is crucial for the Afghan air force, the security forces adviser explained.

"They cannot protect their personnel, resources or weapons if they don't understand the basic fundamentals of security," Krueger said. "The training we're giving them will set them up for success in the future."

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