News: AWG Training Advisory Assistance in support of SOC Forward-Lebanon
By Maj. Chris Kuzio and CSM Michael Cortes
Asymmetric Warfare Group-Team Lebanon
LEBANON - The greatest threat to peace and stability in southern Lebanon is the provocation of Israel by a terrorist rocket attack from Lebanese soil. This was a common occurrence before and during the 2006 war, and preventing these attacks is a key element of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended that conflict. The element responsible for maintaining security and preventing these provocations are the conventional Lebanese Armed Forces brigades in South Litani Sector. The U.S. supports the full implementation of UNSCR 1701; and to that end the Special Operation Command (Forward) Lebanon has instituted a Lebanese Instructor Training Course conducted by Advanced Operating Base 5310 of the 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). The course is training members of the Lebanese special operations forces to deploy to the south and conduct a training course for LAF platoons, and to increase their capability and capacity to support UNSCR 1701.
But what to train on?
The LSOF Regiments and their conventional LAF brigade counterparts have different missions, operations, and geographical focus. The LSOF are the national-mission force, held in reserve and focused on threats or responding to significant events from their headquarters in predominantly Christian sections of Lebanon. Their South Litani Brigade counterparts are geographically focused on maintaining legitimate Lebanese Government control of the area south of the Litani River, historically a Hezbollah-dominated operational environment, and preventing terrorist activities. Rarely do the two meet, and when they do, it is usually during operational deployments.
Key to the success of the training is to create a relevant and credible instructor program. A relevant and credible instructor-training program then becomes a medium to increase interoperability between LSOF and LAF. It is a powerful first step in building the synergy of SOF to conventional army interoperability that the U.S. special-operation forces and U.S. conventional forces have learned over a decade of war. It also demonstrates to the people of southern Lebanon and the terrorist that the LSOF are supporting their conventional brothers and sisters.
Realizing the LSOF have limited experience in SLS, the U.S. Government has limited access and the ITC training dates were set, the SFL Commander requested an operational advisory team from the Asymmetric Warfare Group to deploy to Lebanon in support of AOB 5310 to conduct a training needs assessment of the SLS Brigades. The intent of the assessment was to identify and ensure that the training was relevant to the conventional brigades needs, but would also meet the strategic goals of the U.S. government.
The AWG has experience advising U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and global experience supporting the Theater Special-Operations Components operating in Uganda, Bangladesh, Colombia, and Mali on similar mission sets in complex environments. AWG’s ability to deploy globally as a no-cost resource, with short notice is mission-enhancing to TSOCs and Special Forces Groups. AWG Teams can conduct similar training assessments prior to, or between Joint Combined Exchange Training/Counter Narco-Terrorism and Theater Security Cooperation Planning, which provides an additional capability to maintain continual engagement with host nation forces.
This assessment spent four days living with the LAF of the SLS and observing operations in all three brigade operational environments along the UN Interim Force in Lebanon which operates along the border of Israel. This allowed the team to identify tactical-level observations and integrate recommendations to AOB 5310 to enhance the relevancy and credibility of the ITC to both the LSOF trainers and their future LAF students. Upon completion of AOB 5310’s ITC, the AWG team will deploy to the South Litani Sector with the LSOF Instructors to advise and assist as they train their conventional LAF counterparts in support to better implement UNSCR 1701.
The tactical level efforts by AOB 5310’s Instructor Training Course will have operational and strategic affects within Lebanon. Operationally, it increases SOF to Army interoperability and sends an important message in the Hezbollah-dominated environment of south Lebanon. Strategically, it increases the LAF’s capability and capacity to support UNSCR 1701 and increase regional stability.
Date Posted:05.07.2012 07:54
Hometown:FORT CAMPBELL, KY, US
Hometown:FORT MEADE, MD, US
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