Afghan air force graduates first fire instructors

  • Published
  • By Capt. Anastasia Wasem
  • NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan Public Affairs
Firefighters from both the Afghan Air Force and the Afghan National Army completed and graduated from the first fire instructor course offered in Afghanistan during a ceremony Oct. 31 at Kabul International Airport, Afghanistan.

Thirteen students, from four different locations around Kabul, graduated the course taught by fire advisers from NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan. The graduates are now certified to teach other Afghan firefighters at their home fire stations.

"The words Shohna-ba-Shohna ('shoulder-to-shoulder' in Dari) could not be any truer than right now," stated Master Sgt. Jeffery Hackworth, a NATC-A fire adviser, at the graduation ceremony. "Now all of you have gone from student, to teacher. You can go back to your base, train your firefighters and sign off on core tasks and upgrade training. This is a huge step towards a self-sustaining Afghan air force fire service."

The five-day course covered topics such as demonstrating the ability to deliver instructions effectively, using and adapting lesson plans, various learning processes, methods of instruction, organizing the learning environment, testing and feedback, record keeping and roles and responsibilities of the department training managers. In addition, the students were also required to pass a written and practical examination.

"I am very happy for this graduation," said an AAF fire instructor from Pohantoon-e-Hawayee "Air University" in Kabul. "The mentors taught us a lot and now we have information and lessons that we are able to take back to our units to teach. By having classes like this we are each able to continue to teach additional students."

The course, despite being the first of its kind in Afghanistan, went from concept to implementation in only 45 days. The main goal for the course was to create a standard to be used by all agencies within Afghanistan to train and instruct firefighters.

The NATC-A advisors have also developed the first-ever fire inspector course to begin in November as well as a fire chief course scheduled to begin in December.