|TAAC West Advisors discuss operations with ANDSF|
(photo RS HQs Feb, 21, 2018).
South Asian Strategy has Improved Afghan Security Prospects. General Nicholson believes that the military parts of of President Trump's strategy are now in place and they are making a difference. The strategy calls for more military advisors working with lower-echelon Afghan units. It also calls for more enablers - including air support and ISR. Read more in "Nicholson Says Situation in Afghanistan Has Fundamentally Changed", Defense Media Activity, March 22, 2018.
Bombing in Kabul. A suicide bomber killed at least 26 people near a shrine in the Afghan capital on Wednesday, March 21st. At least 18 were wounded as the Afghan capital celebrated the Nawruz holiday marking the start of the Persian new year. (Reuters, Mar 21, 2018).
Estonia Troops for Afghanistan. Members of the Estonian Defence Force's professional Scouts Battalion will soon begin a deployment for the Resolute Support mission. 35 members of the EDF will deploy for six months to the Kabul region. (ERR.ee News, Mar 20, 2018).
AAF's Black Hawks Need to Get Ready. New sanctions against Russia will likely affect the availability of spare parts for the Afghan Air Force's (AAF) Mi-17 helicopters. This will put pressure on the program to field UH-60 Black Hawks to the AAF - to include, not only helicopters, but the training of its pilots and maintainers. (Stars and Stripes, Mar 24, 2018).
AAF's Blawk Hawks Mission Ready by Summer 2018. The AAF is expected to start flying missions with its new fleet of UH-60s within months. As of now the fleet numbers eleven. Learn more about the training program for its pilots in "Afghan UH-60 Black Hawks will be mission ready this summer", RS HQs DVIDS, March 14, 2018.
Czechs Increasing Numbers. The Czech Republic's defense ministry is planning to deploy more soldiers to Afghanistan. (ABC News, Mar 21, 2018).
Afghanistan's Female General. Khatol Mohammadzai has served in the Afghan army for more than three decades, served as a commando, and did nearly 600 parachute jumps. She is a role model for many of the 1,700 women who serve in the Afghan National Army. Read "Afghan Women Work to Increase Military Presence", Voice of America, March 23, 2018.
Women in the SMW. Read an article about female members of the Afghan Special Mission Unit. The SMW is the Afghan SOF aviation unit that supports the Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF). See "Women of the SMW - Afghan Special Mission Wing", SOF News, March 24, 2018.
APPF to be Part of MoD. The Afghan Public Protection Force will fall under the Ministry of Defense (MoD) - moving from the control of the Ministry of Interior (MoI). In all, about 13,500 APPF personnel will make the move. See "PPF Officially Handed Over to the Defense Ministry", Tolo News, March 21, 2018.
ASSF Increases in Strength. The Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (ANASOC) recently graduated 828 Commandos from its 14-week long course. Additionally, over 300 special police officers graduated from the 26-week Special Police Qualification Course. The Afghan Special Security Forces continue to grow. (RS HQs, Mar 20, 2018).
19th SFGA Members Honored for Valor. Members of a Utah National Guard Special Forces unit were awarded medals for their valor during a 2017 deployment to Afghanistan. Four Green Berets received Silver Stars. (The Seattle Times, Mar 17, 2018).
CA Guard Trains in France for Afghan Deployment. Some units go to NTC, JRTC, Fort Bliss or other prime locations to train up for a rotation in Afghanistan. The 200 members of California Guard's 40th Division is training in France - drinking French coffee eating eating multicolored, pillowy macarons. Hmmm. How do you get that gig? (Stars and Stripes, March 22, 2018.) See also a news report about members of the 40th Div heading to Kandahar (Stars and Stripes, Mar 23, 2018).
1st BCT 82nd Ends Deployment. Members of the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division have returned home to Fort Bragg, North Carolina after a nine-month long deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan. (The Fayetteville Observer, Mar 19, 2018).
ASSF to Double Size. The Afghan Special Security Forces (SOF units) will be doubling its size over the few years. Read more in a Resolute Support news release. (Mar 20, 2018).
Non-Pursuit into Pakistan. A U.S. military spokesman said it is U.S. policy not to pursue Taliban fighters that flee from Afghanistan into sanctuaries located in Pakistan. (FDD's Long War Journal, Mar 20, 2018).
Pressuring the Taliban. General Nicholson, the commander of Resolute Support in Afghanistan, says a combination of religious, diplomatic, military, and social pressure on the Taliban will result in the insurgents coming to the negotiating table in the near future. (Voice of America, Mar 19, 2018).