The Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (ANASOC) has a new weapons maintenance and repair facility. ANASOC celebrated the opening of their very own weapons maintenance and repair facility with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
“We are grateful to our government, Ministry of Defense, and our international partners for making this happen. The new weapons maintenance and repair facility will provide the much needed help to our Commandos in the fight against the Taliban to secure Afghanistan” said Lt. Col Mansoor, Deputy Commanding General for Support, ANASOC.
ANASOC’s Weapons Maintenance and Repair Facility
Until recently, ANASOC Commandos directly engaging the Taliban and ISIS-K in fierce battles throughout the country and regaining control of occupied terrain were exhausting their weapons systems, and experiencing degraded performance. Overuse and other battlefield related issues such as corrosion of moving parts, coupled with lack of maintenance and limited repair knowledge at the individual Commando level, exacerbated the situation.
According to Patrick Franko, a Warrior Training Alliance (WTA) contractor and mentor at ANASOC’s School of Excellence Weapons Repairman Course (WRC), if left unchecked, weapons corrosion can lead to stoppages, decreased sustained rate of fire, or complete overhaul or deadline of the weapon system.
Weapons Repairmen Course
Photo caption: A Slovak Special Operations Advisory Team member stands by to provide Afghan Commandos hands-on assistance on US weapons system while Patrick Franko, a civilian contractor and training mentor, provides reassembly instructions during the six week long Weapons Repairmen Course held at ANASOC’s School Of Excellence (SOE), Camp Commando, Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo by MSG Felix Figueroa, NSOCC-A, August 2018).
In an effort to address battlefield related weapons repair and maintenance issues, Camp Morehead based advisors coach, mentor, and teach seasoned Commando’s during a six-week long Weapons Repairmen Course (WRC) held at ANASOC’s School Of Excellence focusing on weapon breakdown and reassembly, explanation of moving parts and their functions, and how to properly perform a function check in accordance with technical field manuals. Coincidentally, the same week the new weapons repair facility opened, approximately 18 Commandos graduated from ANASOC’s WRC; many going directly to work here.
The Weapons Repairmen Course used to run five weeks, however, student request and commando driven demand at the Kandak level added a week to the course which is designed to accommodate approximately 20 students per cycle. This course hosted and trained 18 students on weapons familiarization, function, and repair for the MK 19, 40 mm grenade launcher; M4 Carbine rifle, M249 and 240 Machine Guns; M9 pistol, M203 Grenade Launcher and more. (NATO Photo by Master Sgt. Felix A. Figueroa)
In short, before the weapons maintenance and repair facility and dedicated specialty courses, weapons like the fully automatic M4 carbine were reduced to single shot systems. Franko added that having a dedicated base of operations to perform weapons repair and maintenance significantly contributes to getting Commando’s back into the fight.
“Accurate and dependable weapons systems on the battlefield is paramount! The Afghan National Army Special Operations Command now has the ability to continue to sustain Commandos and daily operations, an effort the US and NATO has been pushing for years. This is yet another effort ushering their forces into the 21st century” said Col Darin Blatt, Afghan National Army Special Operations Command-Special Operations Advisory Group (ANASOC-SOAG) Commander.
The Weapons Repairman Course (WRC) is six weeks long and students throughout ANASOC’s Special Operations Kandak (SOK) travel here to attend, eventually taking back the knowledge and sharing amongst fellow Commandos.
Top Photo: ANASOC instructor demonstrates how to do a function check on a MK 19, 40 mm grenade launcher at Camp Commando, Kabul, Afghanistan. (NSOCC-A photo by MSG Felix Figueroa).