Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Level II Advising Explained - 203rd Corps

With the drawdown of Coalition forces and closure of a significant number of small and large bases the reach of  U.S. and other troop contributing nations has diminished. Two of the six ANA corps and corresponding police units no longer have advisors on a permanent, persistent (daily face-to-face contact). Instead, advisors travel on a periodic basis to the 'uncovered corps' (203rd and 215th) to check in with the ANA leadership and staff. This is called "Level II Advising". Train, Advise, Assist Command - East is responsible for two corps - the 201st and 203rd. While TAAC-East gets to see the 201st everyday (as it is co-located with the 201st at FOB Gamberi) it has to travel to visit the 203rd,  Afghan Border Police, Afghan National Police, and the Operational Coordination Center (OCC).

In October, with the closure of the U.S. FOB Lightning in Gardez, the advising effort in southeastern Afghanistan transitioned to "Level II Advising". This type of advising is conducted by email, phone calls, and occasional visits. The infrequent advising trips, called Expeditionary Advisory Packages (EAPs), are planned and coordinated with Afghan counterparts. The EAPs are conducted just a couple of times a month.

Soon, the 203rd Corps - because it is doing so well in defeating the Taliban in contested districts like Azra, Nerkh, Chak, Mohammad Agha, and others - will progress to "Level III" advising. Level III advising for the 203rd Corps will begin in January 2015 and will be conducted by an "Advise and Assist Cell" or ACC based in Kabul. As other Afghan army corps and regional security forces continue to progress in 2015, the AAC will assume Level III advisory responsibility from each of the five TAACs currently partnered with Afghan security forces. By 2016, the AAC will conduct advising of all Afghan security forces from Kabul.

Information for this post taken from "Army, USMC generals talk Afghanistan transition on advisory trip", ISAF News, December 20, 2014.

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