A large number of a new type of advisory unit are being deployed to aid in the transition of coalition combat troops out of Afghanistan. The advisory teams are called Security Force Assistance Advisory and Assistance Teams or SFAATs. The concept was developed by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) staff and approved by COMISAF (General John Allen) last fall. The first teams were notified over the winter of 2011 for an upcoming deployment in the spring of 2012.
Most of the teams are being deployed as part of a new concept called Security Force Assistance Brigades or SFABs. These SFABs are understrength brigade combat teams (BCTs) with about half of their authorized manning. The SFAATs are formed into 9, 12, or 18 man teams depending on the type of Afghan unit they are advising. All SFAATs are assigned interpreters who assist them in the advisory effort. In addition, those units advising Afghan Uniform Police (AUP) or Afghan Border Police (ABP) are assigned Embedded Police Mentors (EPMs). The EPMs are provided by a DynCorps contract.
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