BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan -- Four Research, Development and Engineering Command personnel deployed to the command's Field Assistance in Science and Technology Center at 401st Army Field Support Brigade headquarters were recognized Feb. 25 for their work which directly enhanced the Security Forces Advise and Assist Team 8, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment's mission accomplishment.

Daniel McGauley, RFAST-C executive officer, Robert Spetla, RFAST-C technician, Stephen Roberts RFAST-C lead engineer and Jon-Luke DeStefano, RFAST-C lead technician, were awarded certificates of appreciation by Lt. Col. Jose L. Polanco, 1-9 Cav Regt commander.

"Thanks for the assistance in improving our force protection at our advising compound," Polanco said during the presentation Feb. 25 in front of the assembled squadron. "Our advising team is able to spend more time at the COP [combat outpost]."

The 1-9 Cav Regt is a Security Forces Advise and Assist Team that works closely with their Afghan counterparts and helps them plan and execute operations while the Afghans are developing their capabilities. The 1-9 Soldiers identified a requirement for a steel door and door frame at a security control point as well as a need for security screens at the COP.

The RFAST-C team conducted a site survey and designed a prototype that was submitted to the unit and when the final design was approved, they fabricated the items in the RFAST-C prototype integration facility. The force protection enhancements were installed on Feb. 16 and the unit was very satisfied with the door, said Michael Anthony, RFAST-C director.

The certificates read in part, "... due to the RFAST-C efforts, the 1-9 Cav's Security Forces Advise and Assist Team expeditionary mission can be safely and successfully accomplished."

Anthony said his team is also designing a "hold in place" framework for sandbags that will raise exterior walls to match the height of buildings inside the compound.

Anthony said the unit first went to Rapid Equipping Force looking for solutions and was referred by it to RFAST-C. The RFAST-C team of engineers and technicians is deployed with engineering and fabrication skills to rapidly engineer solutions and fabricate prototypes to meet Warfighter requirements.

(Editor's note: NATO Media Backgrounder, "ISAF Mission Evolution - SFA", Oct. 8, 2012 was used as research material for this article.)