By 1st Lt. Joseph RobinsonJanuary 26, 2014
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan (Jan. 26, 2014) -- Advising and assisting their Afghan National Security Forces counterparts remains the primary objective of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment "Warrior," for the remainder of their deployment.
They are able to accomplish this objective by providing a Security Forces Advise and Assist Team, or SFAAT, consisting of key leaders with a security element, commonly known as Guardian Angels. The SFAAT is a mobile advising team capable of rapidly moving to a location, providing assistance to Afghan National Security Forces, known as ANSF, throughout Afghanistan's Regional Command-East.
For three months, 2nd Battalion has been advising their Afghan counterparts in Parwan, accomplishing several key objectives, such as coaching the ANSF prior to major operations, and receiving accurate reporting following an important event. Equally as important, 2nd Battalion has built relationships with their ANSF counterparts, which can be vital for future operations.
"Overall, I've enjoyed being a part of the Afghanistan SFAAT mission," said 1st Lt. Robert Krueger, who serves as a Logistical Advisor for the 2nd Battalion Warrior SFAAT. "I see it as a chance to help develop a fledgling country into a place where the future generations will have a chance at success, progress, and peace."
Krueger has worked with his logistical counterpart in Parwan since the battalion's arrival to Bagram Airfield, and continues to provide expert advice on maintaining accountability of equipment.
"It is important to not focus on the problem at hand, but to understand the root of the problems," said Capt. Bud Brown of Seminole, Fla., who serves as the battalion intelligence officer. "This is important in order to have a successful advising relationship."
Brown also mentors the Operations Coordination Center- Provincial Reconnaissance Officer during the advising missions. Listening to his counterpart he has learned a lot about Afghanistan.
"Hearing my counterpart speak his mind about how the Taliban formed, the role of religion, why some areas are safer than others, and loyalties such as tribal affiliation," Brown said, "with that, I am able to understand who I am advising."
Charikar is the capital city of Parwan Province, and is home to the Operations Coordination Center-Provincial, or OCC-P, which is the liaison and reporting center between the Afghan Army and the Afghan police in the province.
The OCC-P is led by an Afghan Army General, who typically speaks to the SFAAT commander while the OCC-P staff is paired with the SFAAT advisors. Each pair is then able to complete the objective of that day's visit within their unique field.
The ANSF have planned and operated independently in Charikar, Parwan, and have reached a level of competence that allows the SFAAT to simply offer advice on planning operations and providing a different perspective.
Many ANSF officers have been formally educated in military schools, which have allowed them to understand the technical and tactical demands of their jobs. This training enables the ANSF to operate as a self-sustained element, fully qualified and capable.