News: True Story: SFAT Team 2 gets it done
Story by Staff Sgt. Kristen Duus
KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan-- They all came from different walks of life, all over the Texas National Guard. They all had lives outside of the Army. But, more than a year ago, they all joined together to make the Security Forces Assistance Team, Team 2, also known as True Story.
Their mission was to work with the Afghan National Army on the grounds of the Kandahar Provincial Governor’s palace, training them to lead from the front in preparation for American forces leaving Afghanistan within the next year. Now, as the team’s mission draws to a close, and they prepare to be replaced by the next SFAT, they are confident in the capabilities of the ANA.
“I believe that a year ago, if we had moved away, they would have probably ceased to function,” said Lt. Col. Glenn Beard, SFAT Team 2 commander, and a native of Leander, Texas. “But now, because they recognize what their job is, they recognize how to do it, they understand they are responsible for their country’s security, even if we are unable to come back, they’ll continue to function. They wouldn’t quit.”
The SFAT team, which up until recently had 24-hour operations with the ANA, moved to Forward Operating Base Walton, as direct sign of the ANA’s competence.
“The people here were ruled by fear and women were treated horrible,” said Beard. “It is important that the current government succeeds so they can continue to progress in human rights areas, and so the progress that has been made so far will not be in vain. The Afghan National Security Forces must be able to maintain security of the country to keep the government in place and to obtain a more secure Afghanistan.”
On top of training the ANA, unit cohesion was essential for the True Story team. Their nickname came from 1st Lt. Chuck Gamero, a native of McKinney, Texas.
“When we all got together we were getting to know each other,” said Gamero. “We’re telling our stories and every story out of my mouth is a ‘true story.’ It just kind of stuck, and now everything we do is a true story.”
On top of that, the attitude of each and every one of the SFAT soldiers has been instrumental to the success of the mission.
“Each member of the team was willing to do what it takes to make this organization successful,” said Beard. “None of these guys came here with preconceived notions- they realized the Afghans are people just like they are and they all have the same issues.”
In realizing that, the team was able to be much more effective, as they were able to develop a personal rapport with each of their Afghan partners.
“I feel like I can smile because this team was effective,” concluded Beard. “We came here with a mission, we met our requirements and the team has shown the Afghans that we are willing to work with them, showing them how to grow and improve their capabilities. It is very rewarding and satisfying work.”
Date Posted:07.09.2013 07:44
Location:KANDAHAR PROVINCE, AF
Hometown:CEDAR PARK, TX, US
Hometown:FORT WORTH, TX, US
Hometown:LEAGUE CITY, TX, US
Hometown:LEANDER, TX, US
Hometown:MCKINNEY, TX, US
Hometown:SAN ANTONIO, TX, US
Hometown:TYLER, TX, US
Hometown:WEST POINT, TX, US
Hometown:WYLIE, TX, US