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Commando School leader answers the People's questions

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MARCOA Media
Story by Bob Ditchey on 04/22/2018
Apr. 15, 2018 - Radio Bayan FM 88.5 FM in Kabul, Afghanistan
(Translated from Dari)

Radio Bayan:
How long have you been serving in School of excellence and what was your goal?

Colonel Zakria:
"It has been three and half years that I am serving as the commander of SOE and because I was interested in ANA and especially I was interested in Special Forces, I joined Special Forces."

Radio Bayan:
"Could you please provide some information about the SOE of ANASOC?

Colonel Zakria:
"The SOE is a training school for Afghan National Army Special Forces. It trains Special Forces for ANA. We are doing our tasks and train Special Forces based on our approved annual plan."

Radio Bayan:
The Special Forces are the elite and strongest forces of ANA, could you please tell us what training they receive and what hard training stages they pass?

Colonel Zakria:
"First of all, we have a procedure for selecting the member of Special Forces. The youths who are interested to join the Special Forces, first they should pass the basic military trainings in ANA military training centers or other military academies. After their training is finished, based on our procedure, we will select them for commandos and Special Forces. The training period for commandos is 14 weeks and they do different types of training during this 14 week period. The first weeks will be their biometrics and processing. After the process, we provide them training with the basic weapons of the commandos. We focus on three things, their physical power, their mental faculties, and their education level. We accept youths who are interested in joining Commandos and Special Forces from other military academies based on their abilities in these three fields. The training for Special Forces will be 18 weeks. The training for Special Forces and commandos are very difficult and heavy."

Radio Bayan:
"How important is the Commando Forces with high level education?"

Colonel Zakria:
"As I mentioned to you before there is a primary test of the physical power and education of those who want to work in Commando Forces. During training period, there are different examinations for one week. There are educated persons in Special Operations Corps."

Radio Bayan:
"As you know that the Parliamentary election will be held. Do the Afghan National Army, especially the Commando Forces, have any responsibility for providing security in Election Day?"

Colonel Zakria:
"We do our work according to orders of Ministry of Defense. The Special Forces are ready to provide security in Election Day."

Radio Bayan:
"How important is preventing of civilians' casualties during the operations?"

Colonel Zakria:
"Before planning about the operations, we announce to all soldiers in Special Forces that they should respect the human rights during operations, they should prevent the civilian casualties and they should help the civilians. There are sections about the fighting rules in training period of Commando Forces and Special Forces. The people of Afghanistan appreciate the Afghan Commando Forces and Special Forces."

Radio Bayan:
"Please tell us that how important is the cooperation of the people with Afghan Security Forces?"

Colonel Zakria:
"We are thankful of Afghanistan's people because they support us; the people have cooperation with us in every section."

Radio Bayan:
"Please tell us about privileges for Afghan Commando Forces?"

Colonel Zakria:
"The Afghan Special Forces are equipped with modern weapons. The Commando Forces get 5,000 AF beside to their monthly salaries. The Afghan Special Forces get 9,000 AF beside their salaries every month. Most of the youths are interested to work in Special Forces. We want those soldiers who completed the duration of their services in Afghan National Army to come and work in Special and Commando Forces."

Radio Bayan:
What are the recent achievements of Special Forces?
Colonel Zakria:
"The Special Operation forces had huge effects on the enemy. After we conduct operations, we analyze and investigate our operations and its effects. The result of our investigation shows that the enemy doesn't have the ability and courage to fight the ANSDF in a direct fight. They just try to do terrorist acts, such as laying IEDs, and kidnappings. We had lots of good achievement in any province that we conducted operations. All the high-ranking officials in MOD know that we had huge achievements in our operations. Even the enemy knows about our achievements and they are very afraid of our forces.

Radio Bayan:
How important is the professionalism of your forces for you and how much you have paid attention to professionalism in your forces?

Colonel Zakria:
"The ANASOC pay a special attention to this and we have very skillful personnel in SOC and in the future we plan to recruit more skillful personnel in the SOC."

Radio Bayan:
How is the coordination between ANSDF during operations?

Colonel Zakria:
"When we conduct operations, we prepare good plans and coordination with other ANSDF forces. Our all operations conduct with full coordination with other ANSDFs, and it is one of the reason for our success during our operations."

Radio Bayan:
How important and effective is the role of RS mentors in your trainings?

Colonel Zakria:
"Fortunately, all of our trainers and teachers are Afghans, just Resolute Support forces monitor our training and all of our training in Special Forces, commandos and in our professional classes have been provided by our Afghan mentors. We have about 10 professional classes, such as snipper's class, medic class and others."

Radio Bayan:
Some of the soldiers have complain about vacations; that they don't have enough vacation days and they stay on duty for long times, what have you done in this regard?

Colonel Zakria:
When the SOC upgraded to Corps level, we planned our activities based on the cycles of the MOD. There are three cycles: the yellow cycles do their group trainings. The green cycle is ready for duty and the red cycle is on holidays. The yellow and green cycle take about three months and after three months they will be on leave. This order is from the MOD and none of our soldiers have this problem. We send them to their home through flight and they return back through flight."

Radio Bayan:
"How important and effective is the cooperation of people with ANSDF in providing security?

Colonel Zakria:
"About the cooperation of people with ANSDF, we have good memories from the people in all provinces. To each area we have gone, they welcomed us. I am thankful from all people."

CALLERS: 45, 22 on air

Joma Khan Hamdard, from Zabul Province
"What are your future plans? And before your current position, in which section you have served? And also, are you involved in operations such as in Kunduz, which caused civilian casualties?"

Nazawali, from Nangarhar Province
"We are happy from our security forces; they do a great job by defending the country. I have a question that, why when our security forces clear one area from insurgents they don't stay there or they don't establish post in that area? And after they leave, insurgents return back to that area?"

Colonel Zakria:
"I worked in Zabul province for 9 years in Afghan National Army, now I am working in Special Operations Corps. The Afghan Commando Forces are doing the operations very carefully and Ministry of Defense controls the operations. We do the operations rapidly."

Khepolwak from Herat:
"We are proud of Afghan Special Forces. Why the Afghan Security Forces can't receive help during fighting against the enemies? How long the Afghan Special Forces get trainings and what is the difference of their equipment from other Afghan Security Forces?"

Kochi from Nangarhar:
"What did you do to prevent the killing of innocent civilians during bombardments in Kunar and Kunduz provinces?"

Colonel Zakria:
"The Afghan Special Forces do operations with accuracy, we inform the Afghan Special Forces about the enemies' tactics and we neutralize the tactics of the enemies. The bombardments are related to Air Forces, we do the operations according to our plans."

Kazem Nezakat from Kandahar:
"The Afghan Security Forces did the operations in Kandahar province and had some casualties, but there were no air operations. The Afghan Security Forces will get the victory if there are air operations and bombardment on the enemies."

Colonel Zakria:
"As I mentioned before that Air Forces is a separate section. They have their plans and responsibilities. The enemies are afraid of Afghan Special Forces."

Ahmad Jan from Helmand:
"I am a soldier in Afghan National Army and we are fighting against the enemies, but there are no air assaults on enemies."

Colonel Zakria:
"The Afghan Air Forces do the air operations according to and based on the needs. The Air Forces do the operations are on time according to orders."

Tasal from Kandahar:
"As you know that during the last months, there are rocket firings from Pakistan to Kunar province and had some casualties. I request the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces to try to preventing this kind of rocket firing."

Colonel Zakria:
"The Afghan Special Forces are ready to do different operations against the enemies according to order of Ministry of Defense."

Malik Akbar from Kabul:
"I think that cooperation of the people is very important, there were civilian casualties during the war in Afghanistan. The people should have cooperation with government to bring peace to our country."

Sultan Mohammad, From Ghor Province
"I really appreciate and have lots of respect to the Commando and Special Forces, they are our heroes. I hope they equip and train these forces well. The worst era of government was during King Zahir Khan. In that era the army had a very bad condition and the reason for it was corruption. There should be no corruption in the military."

Khan Mohammad, from Kunduz Province
"We love our security forces, currently there is an ongoing armed clash between our security forces and Panjab invaders in Zazai District. We hope they achieve success. The other issue is that in Kunduz Province in all districts these SOBs closed all schools; there are no lessons in schools. We want religious scholars to try to reopen schools."

Amir Hamza, from Helmand Province
"As they say that they do their works based on plans, they also should be careful about civilian casualties and prevent civilian casualties. I hope they pay attention to the life of civilians."

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