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Afghanistan National Army

Last modified: 2022-01-08 by ian macdonald
Keywords: afghanistan | ana | commando brigade |
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See also:

Afghan National Security Forces

The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) refer to:
- the Afghan Armed Forces (Afghanistan National Army and Afghan National Air Force)
- the Afghan National Police
- the Afghan Border Police
- the Afghan Local Police
- members of the National Directorate of Security (NDS)

The ANA (Afghanistan National Army) currently maintains seven Corps; each corps is responsible for one major area of the country. Each corps has three to four subordinate brigades, and each brigade has four infantry battalions as its basic fighting units. Each infantry battalion is assigned a specific area for which it is responsible, the battalion's mission is to secure its area from internal and external threats. Originally, the four outlying corps were assigned one or two brigades, with the majority of the manpower of the army based in Kabul's 201st Corps. They are:
- 201st Corps "Kabul" ( )
- 203rd Corps "Tandar" (Thunder) ( )
- 205th Corps "Atal" (Hero) ( ). The flag ( features the coat of arms ( but all in yellow and green colors.
- 207th Corps "Zafar" (Victory) ( ). The flag ( features the coat of arms (
- 209th Corps "Shaheen" (Falcon)
- 215th Corps "Maiwand"
- 111th Capital Division
Esteban Rivera, 21 June 2014

ANA Special Forces

The ANA Special Forces were first conceptualized in 2009 and established in 2010. The first Special Forces team, whose soldiers were selected from the ANA Commando Brigade, finished training in May 2010. The organization is based on U.S. Army Special Forces. These candidates are normally selected after serving 4 years as a Commando. They were attached to teams of U.S. Special Forces operating in Kandahar province in the 2010 operation.

In May 2010 the first class of the ANA Special Forces graduated from their 10 week qualification course and moved on to the operational portion of their training. In November 2010, the ANA Special Forces Class 1 received their tan berets after completing 26 weeks of on-the-job training partnered with U.S. Special Forces. The initial selection involved taking the 145 commandos who volunteered, putting them through a one week qualification process (similar to the one used in the United States), and finding, as in the U.S., that only about half passed. These men formed the first four A-Teams (of 15 men each). Some of them who passed the 1st are being used to help American Special Forces train the 2nd class of candidates. Special Forces soldiers are trained to focus on interaction with the population through jirgas with village elders, but capable of unilateral operations. A second ANA Special Forces class completed training in December 2010.

The force numbered between 1,000 to 1,500 in December 2011.This unit also has female soldiers to act as support to deal with female civilians, such as searches, interviews or medical examinations. There are plans to create one special forces platoon of just female soldiers so they can go talk to families (women and children).
Esteban Rivera, 21 June 2014

Commando Brigade

[Commando brigade (Afghanistan)] image by Esteban Rivera, 28 August 2021

based on image and image located by Esteban Rivera, 21 June 2014

The ANA (Afghanistan National Army) Commando Brigade is part of the Afghan National Army and was formed from existing Infantry battalions. The program was established in early 2007 with the intent of taking one conventional battalion from each of the ANA Corps, giving them special training and equipment and reorganizing based on a United States Army Rangers Battalion. Each Battalion is assigned to one of the 5 military corps.

The training is conducted at the Morehead Commando Training Center, a former Taliban training compound and is located six miles south of Kabul, Afghanistan. The training center is named after 5th Special Forces Group soldier MSG Kevin Morehead, who was killed in Iraq in September 2003.

The training of supply, logistics and operations is conducted by mentors from Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, United States Army Special Forces, French Special Forces, ANA cadre and MPRI.

The flag is seen in the following pictures:
- (source:
- (source: In this picture one can see two flags: the one on the left seems to be the War Flag (Afghanistan flag with probable related ANA Commando inscription, battle honours or maybe the corresponding military training facility's name), and on the right one can see the Standard (purple flag).
(source: This is probably the War Flag.

The flag (Standard) is a purple horizontal flag with the logo (, source: plus an inscription on top and on the bottom in Arabic in white letters.
Esteban Rivera, 19 September 2010

In July 2007 the ANA graduated its first Commandos, after three months training. By the end of 2008 there were six ANA Commando Battalions. From mid-2011, the ANA began establishing a Special Operations Command (ANASOC) to control the ANA Commando Brigade and the ANA Special Forces. In July 2012, the Special Operations Command was officially established as a division-sized special operations force formation, including a command and staff. The command, with the status of a division, now boasts between 10,000 and 11,000 soldiers. Previously this was organised as one Brigade with 8 battalions. Due to the standard size of a brigade in the ANA, the ANASOC is likely to be split into 3 - 4 brigades, one of which will be a Special Forces Brigade.

ANASOC now has a Special Mission Wing which was inaugurated on 21 July
2012. The special Mission Wing will have its own Battalion in ANASOC

The Commando Brigade has nine Commando Battalions (Kandaks):
- 1st Commando Battalion
- 2nd Commando Battalion
- 3rd Commando Battalion
- 4th Commando Battalion
- 5th Commando Battalion
- 6th Commando Battalion
- 7th Commando Battalion
- 8th Commando Battalion "Lamer & Sun"
- 9th Commando Battalion "Cobra"
Source: and

The Commando Brigade flag is seen here in this picture:
The flag of the Commando Brigade ( has the Badge ( featured in the middle of the flag.
Esteban Rivera, 21 June 2014

There are two SOF (Special Operations Forces) Brigades and ten Special Operations "Kandaks" (Commando Battalions) stationed across Afghanistan. The kandaks are composed of Afghan National Army Commandos and Afghan National Army Special Forces. It was officially established on July 24, 2007.
Sources:,, and

The official flag of the ANASOC (Afghanistan National Army Special Operations Command) is a purple horizontal background, featuring the uniform patch with the inscription "SPECIAL FORCES" (in yellow capitals) and below the word "COMMANDO" (in white capitals) together with the emblem below.

Esteban Rivera, 28 August 2021

Detail of badge

[Commando brigade (Afghanistan)] image by Esteban Rivera, 28 August 2021

215th Maiwand Corps

There is also a flag of the 215th Maiwand Corps of the former Afghan
National Army; it is a bi-color flag: with the unit badge outlined in gold: 
Zachary Harden, 13 December 2021