Texas and Hawaii National Guard Security Force Assistance and Advisor Teams begin training at Shelby | News
The following is a press release from Camp Shelby:
The first National Guard units designated to provide Security Force Assistance Advisor Team support in Afghanistan recently mobilized at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center Miss.
A new concept, announced only last winter, the first SFA ATs were comprised of active-duty Soldiers. This rotation will be comprised of National Guard Soldiers from Hawaii and Texas.
Not only is this a new mission for the National Guard, it’s a new mission for the trainer mentors assigned to 158th Infantry Brigade.
Responsible for ensuring the unit mobilizes, trains, and validates to meet the deployment requirements, the 158th Inf. Bde., planners and trainers revamped their normal training strategies to meet the unique requirements of the SFA AT mission.
The brigade trains brigade-size elements for traditional security forces missions. Normally, that means one mission for the entire unit. For this SFA AT deployment, the brigade prepared to simultaneously train 47 teams with individual missions, explained Col. Christopher S. Forbes, 158th Inf. Bde commander.
“One of the main functions for the SFA AT team is enabling and advising the ANSF (Afghanistan National Security Force) in their planning capability,” said Forbes, 158th Inf. Bde.
Training for the SFA AT mission required Forbes and his planners to take this planning requirement, individual and collective Soldier skill requirements as well as the different types of advisory teams into account. They also had to plan around the changes to the unit structure. Comprised of nine-to-12 Soldiers, the SFA ATs must provide all support internally as opposed to having all of the support that a modularized brigade has.
The SFA AT concept was created to support continued efforts to prevent terrorism and insurgency originating in Afghanistan. SFA AT are security forces assistant teams tasked with providing mentorship and training to help enable the Afghan National Security Force to conduct more effective intelligence and tactical operations and to prevent terrorism and insurgency. Successes in Afghanistan allow for transition from the comprehensive COIN or counter insurgency strategy to an increased focus on training and mentoring with the ANSF. A key component of this strategy is our Army’s ability to provide training and mentoring of the ANSF using SFA AT.
Once in theater, SFA ATs provide mentorship and training, enabling Afghan National Security Forces to conduct more effective intelligence and tactical operations and to prevent terrorism and insurgency. When they arrive in theater, the teams will be assigned in the following roles: Afghan National Army, Brigades Advisory Teams, Afghan Uniformed Police, Provincial Advisory Teams, Operations Coordination Center (OCC) Regional Advisory Teams, Operations Coordination Center (OCC) Provincial Advisory Teams, Afghan Uniformed Police (AUP) Brigade Advisory Teams, Afghan National Army (ANA) Infantry Kandak Advisory Teams, Afghan Uniformed Police (AUP) District Advisory Teams, Afghan National Civic Order Police (ANCOP) Kandak Advisory Teams.