CTF Dragoon's SFAT partner with ANSF to secure Afghanistan
August 2, 2013
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Security Force Assistance Teams, or SFATs, with Combined Task Force Dragoon have been partnering with the Afghan National Security Forces in Regional Command-South for about a month now.
As CTF Dragoon takes on its mission in RC-South in order to oversee security operations, the ANSF are ready and prepared to keep training in order to become confident and competent in executing daily missions to ensure a safe and secure Afghanistan.
"Basically we are here to mentor and advise them [ANSF] so that they can sustain the mission themselves," said Capt. Noah Poeling, signal officer advisor with the SFAT. "The Afghans are very willing to take the lead in all operations. They are very willing to learn and they are very receptive to the advice we are giving them."
In the short time they have been in the country, the SFAT troops have learned how the ANSF work and see similarities in how they operate. The only thing left to do is inspire teamwork within the security forces' community.
The ANSF continues to be in the lead conducting the day-to-day operation in Afghanistan while strengthening the partnership they've build with their SFAT counterparts while learning from one another in many areas.
"I've been learning a lot about how Afghan security elements work together, about how personal their relationships are and that's based on systems like we institute in our Army," said Capt. David Broyles, assistant operations training officer for the SFAT. "We are trying to teach them the basic functions on how to operate collectively as a staff instead of individuals. That's our goal, to get them to work together as a collective element."
Daily interactions between the SFAT and the ANSF are paramount in that it shows the Afghan security forces that U.S. Forces are in their country to work with them to transition the relationship into greater partnership. It is also a chance for Americans to learn more about the local culture.
"Working with the Afghans everyday, I have come to learn a lot about the Afghan culture and how they work," said Poeling. "I think it's important that we interact with them face-to-face as much as possible so that it shows that we care about them and that we are engaged to work shoulder to shoulder with them."
In the few short weeks, the CTF Dragoon SFAT has come to like the opportunity that was given to them. They have seized a chance to learn more about a new culture and meet new and interesting people.
"The overall experience has been positive getting to meet some of our Afghan partners" said Broyles. "It's always interesting to find out who they are, where they are from and where they have been. It's nice to be able to meet new people."