4-31 Infantry Soldiers provide security force during exercise
Soldiers assigned to B Company, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment provide security for the Security Force Assistance Team from 29th Brigade Combat Team, Hawaii National Guard, during a training mission at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif. With the additional security force available to watch for hostile intent toward the Soldiers, the SFAT team is able to focus on advising the Afghanistan National Civil Order Police and the Afghanistan Uniformed Police on various missions.

Soldiers of B Company provided security for Security Force Assistance Team 32 during a training exercise Oct. 2 at the National Training Center here.

"Essentially, our company is assigned to provide security," said Sgt. 1st Class Alex Anderson, a platoon sergeant with B Company, 4-31 Infantry. "We are able to provide the security assets for the SFATs on their mission and help support the (notional) Afghan National Civil Order Police and Afghan Uniformed Police."

The SFAT mission is to assist and advise Afghan National Security Forces as they transition to operating on their own. Team 32 from 29th Brigade Combat Team, Army National Guard Hawaii, is conducting their NTC rotation with 2nd BCT.

Maj. Jeff Kawakami, who serves as executive officer for Team 32, said 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 briefing. Before wheels rolled, a last-minute radio check was conducted. Then the convoy headed to Camp Hero.

At Camp Hero, the SFAT met up with their (notional) ANCOP and AUP counterparts, whom they assisted, and everyone conducted a combined-arms rehearsal of the day's training mission while security force members watched for hostile intent toward the Soldiers.

After the combined-arms rehearsal, vehicles rolled out to the objective, where suspected hostile forces were known to be. As the SFAT advised the ANCOP and AUP on how to take care of the threat, Soldiers of B Company, 4-31 Infantry made sure the SFAT team was safe.

As the day progressed, opposing forces appeared along the ridge line of the nearby hills. A firefight ensued, and the notional ANCOP and AUP took out the threat with the help of the security force from 4-31 Infantry.

At the end of the day, lessons were learned and training objectives were met. The security force proved to make a difference.

"I think the extra security force is very important, because while the SFAT is out trying to guide and mentor the (Afghans), we are there to watch their back," Anderson said. "(The SFAT team) is not always able to pull security, so it is good to have a section separate from them whose sole job is to pull security so they can concentrate on their mission."

Page last updated Wed November 14th, 2012 at 00:00