French troops helping the Afghan National Army

A closer look at the role of specialised French troops who are helping train the Afghan National Army (ANA) at remote forward operating bases.


France has 2,800 soldiers operating in Afghanistan, including specialist teams who provide training and mentoring support to the Afghan National Army (ANA).


Captain Jean Philippe is part of France’s Operational Mentors and Liaison Teams (OMLT) attached to the ANA’s 201st Corps, stationed in the Wardak Province near Kabul.


The OMLTs operate in small groups at forward bases, helping train ANA recruits in effective combat techniques and providing them with air support.


These French troops are not operating under the command of NATO forces in Afghanistan, but are part of a large-scale training programme launched by the American-led coalition.


US President Barack Obama hopes to bolster this programme by sending 4,000 additional American troops this year.


The US aims to help strengthen the Afghan police as well as the army.


The goal is to double the number of security forces by the end of 2010 in order to make them autonomous as quickly as possible.

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