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NEWS | April 7, 2010

Top Afghan officials visit Camp Atterbury

By John Crosby Camp Atterbury Joint Maneuver Training Center

CAMP ATTERBURY JOINT MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ind., - The top non-commissioned officer of the Afghanistan National Army and chief of Afghan National Police recently visited Camp Atterbury to learn about the training facilities that produce thousands of troops and civilians deploying to Afghanistan and to brief Army officials on the situation in theatre.

Afghanistan Sergeant Major of the Army Safi Roshan, Afghanistan National Police Chief Non-Commissioned Officer Khan Karim were introduced to the Camp Atterbury commanders and toured the mobilization-platform training grounds.

“It has been very productive for both sides,” said Roshan. “We are discussing where the Afghan National Army has been, where the Afghan National Army is now and where we can take the Afghanistan National Army in the future."

Roshan and Karim briefed U.S. military officials on issues, operations and progress in Afghanistan to include transforming their Army into a coed military, increasing the amount of trained police in special areas such as border patrol, narcotics and anti-terrorism, recruiting and retention.

The Afghan top officials also presented their campaign; “Shohna ba Shohna,” Dari for shoulder to shoulder, referring to the partnership and bond between U.S. and Afghan forces.

“That’s the mission, that’s the key to success,” said Roshan. “Shohna ba Shohna is one of the themes for this year. We are working together. Planning together, coordinating together, fighting together and living together. It’s our message to the civilians of the United States who send their children, and their family members [to Afghanistan] that we appreciate them.”

The top installation non-commissioned officer said that meeting with the top Afghan officials was a great learning tool and opportunity.

“Camp Atterbury trains a lot of the Soldiers heading into Afghanistan right now," said Installation Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney Spade. "We are seeing we can do better to improve the Soldier’s training here so that when they get in country they are more familiar with the training aspect, more familiar with the country itself and know what the expectations are.

“I thought it was just a great opportunity for us to have such a high-ranking profile of individuals here to assist us in our training efforts at Camp Atterbury, and First Army as a whole, on the many tasks we have to do for [deploying Soldiers].”