Soldiers from the National Guard will be joining the ranks of the Army next year, in a move aimed at boosting their skills and increasing their effectiveness as frontline soldiers.
The National Guard has been in operation since 1991 and now serves as an extension of the army’s front-line combat troops.
It is estimated that there are around 1.6 million National Guard members, of whom some 300,000 are male.
In the past, the Guard has had to rely on the state to provide basic training for its men.
But it has also been used to train some of the country’s elite soldiers.
“The National Guard is a big opportunity,” said Brigadier General Rizk Abdulla, commander of the National Army, the army wing of the Defence Ministry.
“There are many soldiers in the National Guards who have been through training and are ready for combat.”
The move follows the recent signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Afghan government, which will allow the Guard to train Afghan soldiers.
It comes as a result of a number of recent international military operations and peace talks, including a visit by the US president to Kabul in April.
The signing of the memorandum of agreement will also give the Guard more flexibility and time to recruit and train troops for the upcoming military offensive.
In addition to the Guard, the Afghan army is preparing to send some of its elite troops to the country in the next few months, according to the Defence Minister, Major General Abdul Rahman.
The Afghan army will also be deploying specialised military units to the region.
The military and government have also agreed to a number planks, such as increasing their share of the national budget, for the construction of schools and other infrastructure projects.
The Guard will also receive additional training and resources from the US, the first such investment from Washington since the US withdrawal in 2014.
“It is part of our strategy to help us to establish a stronger and more capable army,” Abdullas told Al Jazeera.
“We need to have a good mix of the armed forces.”
The Guard has already trained some of Afghanistan’s elite, including some of those who will be part of the upcoming offensive.
“They will be ready for a big operation, in case of need, or when there is a crisis,” Abdul Rahman said.
“This is a new development.”
However, he said that the Guard’s participation would depend on the Afghan military’s ability to conduct the operation successfully.
“In the past it has had a poor record.
In terms of training, the performance of the Afghan forces have not been satisfactory,” he said.