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    Photo By Staff Sgt. James Avery | The Military Advisor Training Academy provided 1BCT leaders on the skills needed to...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    1st Brigade Combat Team,10th Mountain Division (LI)

    A mix of Afghan nationals and academic experts provided course attendees with practical instruction on the history, culture, and geography of Afghanistan. These professionals emphasized that cultural understanding would be critical to any advisory mission in the country.

    “I haven’t deployed,” said 2nd LT Patrick Dorr, a 1BCT officer attending MATA training. “So, to gain a general understanding of the culture we might serve makes me feel more prepared.”

    In addition to the experience and knowledge of the MATA instructors, the training leveraged the shared experience of the NCOs and officers in attendance. Using the adult learning model, 1BCT leaders contributed to the learning environment, using anecdotes to relate the course material directly to potential mission-sets. Students and instructors alike benefited from the free exchange of ideas and experience.

    “The peer to peer learning concept executed at MATA allows us to maximize learning by putting Soldiers of all different ages, ranks, and experience levels in the same room allowing for the free exchange of ideas,” said Capt. Daniel Dillenback, an officer assigned to the 7th Engineer Battalion. “Junior Soldiers benefit from the experience of senior officers and NCOs, while the latter benefits from the exploration of new ideas and questions proposed by the formers.”

    While much of the course centered on classroom instruction, 1BCT leaders applied the negotiation theory they learned during hands-on practical exercises (PE). The PEs simulated Key Leader Engagements (KLE), which are meetings common to, and necessary for success when advising and assisting. With Afghan nationals role-playing as commanders in the Afghan National Army (ANA), 1BCT leaders built rapport and collaborated with their counterparts to create future training plans.

    “MATA was a very informative experience, especial in terms of negotiations and KLEs,” said 1st Sgt. Christopher Ford, 3rd Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment’s 1SG. “Because instructors used in depth cultural training to supplement the skills important for negotiations and KLEs.”

    MATA instructors and 1BCT leaders drew on their own on-the-ground experiences in discussing how to safely and securely conduct advise and assist operations. 1BCT leaders performed practical situational awareness exercises, learned to be more analytical in an austere environment, and gained valuable knowledge on how to return home safely.

    “I found the guardian angel training to be extremely useful given our potential for upcoming missions,” said 2nd Lt. Jack Crowley, an officer assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Field Artillery Regiment. “And the high priority of the safety of our soldiers when advising our counterparts.”

    Regardless of what missions lay ahead, the Warrior Team is better prepared to advise and assist host-nation counterparts.

    “The MATA course reinforced the importance of disciplined initiative in an ambiguous environment,” 1st Lt. De La Cruz of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment stated. “MATA clearly defined the role we, as leaders, must play in advising and assisting our Afghanistan counterparts.”

    The Military Advisor Training Academy provided 1BCT leaders on the skills needed to effectively advise counterparts in support of operations in Afghanistan. Through a combination of Functional based SFA, advisement training, and practical exercises in interpersonal communication; leaders were able to better understand their role while serving as an Advisor. The training culminated with Key Leader Engagements with leaders focused on engagements with Host Nation Security Forces (HNSF) role players. These engagements with cultural role players gave them the opportunity to practice their skills in a realistic environment; thus completely enhancing the training. I am confident that the MATA course bettered every leader in 1BCT and gave them a deeper appreciation of operating in ambiguity.



    Date Taken: 10.10.2017
    Date Posted: 10.10.2017 14:00
    Story ID: 251101
    Location: FORT BENNING, GA, US 

    Web Views: 857
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