September 30, 2011
Eight hundred more U.S. military trainers will be sent to Afghanistan by March to help with logistics, maintenance, medical care and other areas in which the Afghan army is short on skills, Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell, commander of NATO’s training mission there, said Monday.
“That will better help us start getting at some of these specialty skills,” he told reporters in a teleconference from Kabul.
Caldwell said training in these areas was needed to enable Afghan army units to be better prepared to operate without U.S. support by 2014, when American combat troops are scheduled to leave.
Caldwell said that only two of 126 Afghan army battalions are currently operating “by themselves.” But he later said that even those two needed logistics, maintenance, medical and intelligence support. Other battalions operated “very effectively with minimal coalition support,” he said.