KABUL, Afghanistan – More than 800 Afghan National Army soldiers began the 22nd Commando Qualification Course at the ANA Special Operations Command School of Excellence, Camp Commando, Kabul, Afghanistan, Dec. 18, 2017. A series of individual and small team tasks over the rugged terrain of Camp Commando tested the soldiers’ physical and mental toughness during the first week of the course.
CDOQC is a 14-week course designed to assess and train Afghan soldiers for assignment in one of the nine Special Operations Kandaks (Battalions). After initial physical tests, the soldiers will progress to advanced individual skills training, followed by collective training at the team, squad, and platoon level. Approximately 20% of the graduating class will attend job-specific specialty skill training before departing for their SOK.
“There is an appeal to joining the Special Forces and the Commandos,” stated Gen. John Nicholson, NATO Resolute Support commander in a Pentagon Press briefing, Nov. 28. “They’re better trained, they’ve never been defeated, they get higher pay, and they’re widely respected. So we’re not having any trouble filling ranks; in fact they’re having to turn away some recruits.”
The Commandos have provided the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces unparalleled success on the battlefield. Having never lost an engagement with the Taliban, the Commandos are the building block for Afghan Special Security Forces growth over the next four years.
Class 22 is part of a deliberately planned force generation model that will yield an additional 4,000 Commandos by the beginning of next spring. A significant piece of the expansion includes the establishment of the first Commando Mobile Strike Kandak that will graduate from the inaugural Cobra Strike Mobility Course in late April 2018.