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Record JRTC training key to early Afghanistan exodus Sgt. Bob Timney

A U.S. Security Force Assistance Team commander discussed tactics with an Afghanistan security force commander in a mock town in a realistic training scenario at the Joint Readiness Training Center, Fort Polk, La. These newly-formed, highly-specialized command-and-control teams will be deployed as the next step in the diminishing role - and eventual withdrawal - of coalition forces from Afghanistan. These teams allow Afghan National Security Forces to take the lead in security while U.S. security teams move to the role of advisors.

FORT POLK, La. – As Afghan National Security Forces take control on military and local police actions, the Army is training Security Force Assistance Teams to be advisors to the ANSF. Within 70 days of being alerted to these training objectives, the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk did what normally took six months and pulled together the largest training rotation in JRTC history.

In order for U.S. soldiers to be pulled from Afghanistan by 2014 as mandated by NATO, the Afghan National Security Forces must have control for military and local police actions. In a February Department of Defense press release, the Army announced plans for Security Force Assistance Teams designed to help them do just that. These new teams are trained to be advisers to the ANSF during this transition.

Within 70 days of being alerted to these training objectives, the Joint Readiness Training Center did what normally took six months and pulled together the largest training rotation in JRTC history. More than 8,000 individuals were involved in either being trained or in direct support of the SFAT training, according to the JRTC Operations Group.

“This is not a typical rotation. A large number of security force assistance teams are here specifically to learn the most current methods of advising Afghans,” said Maj. Gabriel Ramirez, public affairs officer for the Fort Polk JRTC Operations Group.

The SFATs attending this rotation are predominantly comprised of members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Ky. said Ramirez.

Lt. Col. William Chlebowski, JRTC director of strategic communications, said the 2nd BCT, 10th Mtn. Div. is here performing two functions. They are going through their own annual training, and in doing so, they are the acting “battle space owners” giving the SFAT teams actual Soldiers to work with in addition to the authentic role players and mock towns. “Nothing could be more realistic.”

Hundreds of authentic role players were brought in from all over the U.S. and some directly from Afghanistan according to the JRTC operations group.

In a press release from the Fort Polk Public Affairs Office, Maj. Michael Milas, training officer-in-charge for the 162nd Infantry Brigade, said the skills learned at JRTC are based on the most up-to-date and relevant intelligence from theater. Most of the instructors have just returned from down range and share their experiences so that students hear the “latest and greatest” information straight “from the horse’s mouth.”


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Record JRTC training key to early Afghanistan exodus, by SGT Bob Timney, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:03.29.2012

Date Posted:03.29.2012 10:46

Location:FORT POLK, LA, USGlobe

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  • In its largest training rotation ever, the Joint Readiness Training Center trained dozens of newly created Security Force Assistance Teams. These highly specialized teams will be deployed as the next step in the diminishing role—and eventual withdrawal—of coalition forces from Afghanistan. These teams allow Afghan National Security Forces to take the lead in security while U.S. security teams move to the role of advisors.
  • On March 26, another rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center came to an end. The next day, units performed an after-action review of their time at the training center and began their departure back to their home stations.
  • Every deployment brings new and unique challenges. As Afghan National Security Forces grow in size and capability, they will rely less on the support of coalition forces. To meet these new training requirements, security force assistance teams assigned from modified brigade combat teams will learn to mentor and advise Afghan National Security Forces at the Joint Readiness Training Center, starting this February.
  • As Afghan National Security Forces continue to grow in size and capabilities, they will begin to rely less on support provided by Coalition Forces. In response, the military has created special Security Force Assistance Teams to ease that transition.

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