By Debra ValineFebruary 6, 2019
The Security Assistance Training Management Organization, part of the Security Assistance Command, now provides training the Department of State considers equivalent to the DOS Foreign Affairs Counter Threat course that prepares military and civilians for duty overseas.
The FACT equivalency comes as the result of the substantial efforts of SATMO's Operations Team, the Security Assistance Training Company, and Security Assistance Team Training and Orientation Course instructors.
Historically, SATTOC was focused solely on preparing deploying SAT members. During fiscal 2018, the scope of the course was expanded to meet DOS requirements to gain FACT-equivalency. Soldiers newly assigned to SATMO may also complete SATTOC in preparation for potential SAT missions.
The course gained FACT equivalency Oct. 17. So far two classes have graduated the course, and a third class started Jan. 25. It is expected that approximately 250 students will attend the course in fiscal 2019.
FACT-equivalency enables the course to train approved DOD and DOS personnel who require FACT training before official travel to high-threat countries.
SATTOC -- a student-centered approach to security awareness and situational response training which includes classroom sessions and practical applications -- is the only Army training course with FACT training equivalency from the State Department. It meets the requirement to provide general security awareness for uniformed and civilian personnel traveling under State Department authority to high-threat locations overseas.
The course, taught at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, enhances the ability of DOD military and civilian personnel and civilian contractors to function as military advisers and reduce risks associated with security assistance missions outside the continental U.S.
The curriculum includes a mix of practical and operational instruction for areas such as familiarizing the team with both their mission and their assigned country, intelligence and threats, medical care prevention, surveillance detection, hostage survival and restraint defeat, weapons qualification and driver training.
"SATMO/SATCO personnel are not certified as FACT instructors, rather, SATMO's SATTOC course is certified as FACT equivalent, meaning that Department of State views personnel who complete the SATTOC course as FACT-trained," Mark Moen, deputy commander, SATMO, said. "It's a minor but important distinction. SATCO has approximately 20 personnel qualified as SATTOC instructors. However, some of these personnel are only qualified to teach specific portions of the training course. For example, not every SATTOC instructor is qualified to conduct medical training, which requires a Special Forces or combat medic or similar skillset."
All SATTOCs use the same overall training program, but portions of the course (combatant command and regional overview, regional/cultural/religious awareness, medical care and prevention, intel / threat briefs) are tailored to the specific regions and countries of deploying SAT members.
SATMO continues to facilitate increased military involvement across the security cooperation enterprise, and remains postured to strengthen cooperation and collaboration with our interagency partners, and deepen linkages and integration throughout the interagency network.