News: SFAAT security forces
Story by Staff Sgt. Jennifer Bunn
FORT IRWIN, Calif. - Soldiers assigned to Bravo Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division may not be slated to deploy next year, but they are providing valuable training assets to the notional fight in the California desert.
Bravo Company provided security for Security Force Assistance Advisory Team 32 during a training exercise Oct. 2 at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif.
“Essentially our company is assigned to provide security,” said Sgt. 1st Class Alex Anderson, a platoon sergeant assigned to Bravo, 4-31. “We are able to provide the security assets for the SFAATs on their mission and help support the (notional) Afghan National Civil Order Police and Afghan Uniform Police.”
The SFAAT mission is to assist and advise the Afghan National Security Forces as they transition from being an occupied country to operating on their own. Team 32 from the 29th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Army National Guard Hawaii is conducting their NTC rotation with 2 BCT.
Maj. Jeff Kawakami is the executive officer for Team 32. He says he feels more comfortable having the added security force.
“Our team has only 12 men so, we need an additional security force,” he said. “Everyone has to be more diligent now because of the green on blue incidents. I feel more comfortable with an added security force.”
The day’s training began with the usual pre-inspection of all gear and equipment. Vehicles were assigned a place in line and all personnel attended a convoy brief. Before wheels rolled, a last minute radio check was conducted. Then the convoy headed to Camp Hero.
At Camp Hero, the SFAAT met up with their (notional) ANCOP and AUP counterparts, who they assisted, and everyone conducts a Combined Arms Rehearsal of the days training mission while the security force watches for hostile intent toward the soldiers.
After the CAR, vehicles role out to the objective, where suspected hostile forces are known to be. As the SFAAT advise the ANCOP and AUP on how to take care of the threat, the soldiers of B, 4-31 make sure the SFAAT team is safe.
As the day progresses, opposing forces appear along the ridgeline of the nearby hills. A fire fight ensues and the notional ANCOP and AUP take out the threat with the help of the security force from B, 4-31.
At the end of the day, lessons are learned and training objectives are met. The security force proves to make a difference.
“I think the extra security force is very important because while the SFAAT is out trying to guide and mentor the Afghanis, we are there to watch their back,” said Anderson. “(The SFAAT team) is not always able to pull security, so it is good to have a section separate from them whose soul job is to pull security so they can concentrate on their mission.”