A delegation of Afghan government and military officials, including Brig. Gen. Mohammad Amin Nassib, director of Religious and Cultural Affairs, visited Campbell University Tuesday, March 21, on a fact-finding tour. The delegation wanted to study Campbell's education model—how the university organizes its curriculum and what it has to offer students. The trip was part of a program to build the Afghan National Army, a force of approximately 40,000 troops established after the defeat of the Taliban with the help of Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, commander of the Combined Forces Campaign in Afghanistan. "They've got a very strong Army now," said Maj. Victor Segura, (USAF) one of the mentors for the program. "General Eikenberry's concept now is to go from building an army to building a quality army with technical skills and education." In order to accomplish this goal, the delegation is looking at everything from the types of religious freedoms American soldiers enjoy to the organization of commissaries and exchanges, casualty notification programs, family support programs and training and education, including basic literacy and high school and college equivalency. Among other stops on their itinerary, have been universities in Tampa, Fla. and Washington D.C., and the delegation has met with the Chiefs of Chaplains at the Marine Recruiting Depot in Paris Island, S.C. "We're looking at the soldiers taking technical training and furthering their education in college and command schools like Air Command and Staff, and establishing resource centers in Afghanistan where they can receive the training," Segura said. "Afghanistan has received $5 million from the U.S. to fund the resource centers and an additional $1.2 million to sustain the program." During lunch, the delegation viewed a Power Point presentation delivered by Herb Kerner, Campbell's dean of Admissions, Financial Aid and Veteran's Affairs. The presentation contained pertinent information about Campbell's graduate and undergraduate programs, the Extended Campus program, student/teacher ratio, class sizes and the overall ranking of the university. The delegation was also taken on a tour of the campus. "We're also looking for ways we can partner with the local universities in Afghanistan with online education and exchange programs," said Richard Rice, director of Fayetteville Technical Community College at Fort Bragg. "We would like for them to come over here to study and go back to teach others. We want to help them raise their intelligence scores so they can better process through the military system." Brig. Gen. Mohammad Amin Nassib thanked the representatives from Campbell, Fort Bragg and Fayetteville Technical Community College. "Sept. 11 was a big tragedy for all of the world because it caused big political changes," Nassib said. "This event had a lot of victims, but this event changed the mind of the world and rescued a nation by the name of Afghanistan."
Photo Copy: General Mohammad Amin Nassib, left, presents a gift to Dr. Mark Hammond, dean of Campbell's College of Arts and Sciences. The gift is a mosaic from Afghanistan made of precious stones and marble - photo by Scott Capell