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‘I Serve Afghanistan!’: Afghan Soldiers Graduate To The Elite Ranks Of Special Forces

By Marty Skovlund Jr.; Task and Purpose:

Editor’s note: This is a dispatch by T&P correspondent Marty Skovlund Jr. who is reporting on the ground from Afghanistan.

As we descended into Camp Julien, the mountains towered above us, the city sprawled below us, and the bombed-out, yet still beautiful Darul AmanPalace sat perched on a hill level with us. We were heading to the graduation of Class 19 from the Afghan Special Forces Qualification Course, and the view of Kabul from the Black Hawk helicopter was one of the best I had seen so far.

After a brief brownout, we disembarked the aircraft and were escorted into a camp much more spartan than almost any other I had been to in this country. It was once home to a significantly larger population of about 4,000 multinational soldiers in the earlier years of the war, but has since shut down and re-opened multiple times in response to varying troop levels. Now it’s home to a modest U.S. Special Forces element tasked with assisting the Afghans in running special operations training.

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