Showing posts with label Task-Force-Southwest. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Task-Force-Southwest. Show all posts

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Task Force Southwest First Rotation Complete

Task Force Southwest has seen the first rotation of Marines complete their tour. The nine-month deployment saw the Marines deploy advisors and trainers to assist the Afghan National Army (ANA) 215th Corps and 505th Zone National Police in Helmand province. The Marines took over from Task Force Forge last spring - an Army organization that was advising the ANA and ANP. The advisory element was made up of Marines from III Marine Expeditionary Force and led by Brig. General Roger Turner. The new advisory team is led by  Brig. General Benjamin Watson. The transfer of authority occurred on January 15, 2018.

The second rotation of Marines will likely have looser rules of engagement and greater authorities. Resolute Support HQs has repeatedly indicated that advisors will be found at the lower tactical levels - going down to kandak (battalion) level to conduct the train, advise, and assist mission. The Marines will likely advise some units on a persistent basis while other Afghan units will see advisors on an episodic basis. Read more in "Combat Is No Longer Off the Table for Marines in Afghanistan", Task and Purpose, January 15, 2018.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Train, Advise, Assist, Accompany, and Enable (TA3E)

HIMARS firing in Afghanistan in support of ground troops.
(Photo by U.S. Navy Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean Furey)

Marines Providing "Assist" to 215th ANA Corps with HIMARS. The Marines of Task Force Southwest are providing fire support to the Afghan National Army in Helmand province. Of course, the advanced rocket system also provides a degree of security to the Marine advisor teams working across Helmand province at the tactical (kandak) level. The M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System has a range of about 300 kilometers - depending on the type of munition being fired. Read more in "Marines bring HIMARS to Helmand to beef up security", Military Times, November 12, 2017.

1st SFAB 92Y Likes Her Job. The 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade will soon deploy to Afghanistan. Like many units, the SFAB needs a variety of support MOSs to function. Read on how one Unit Supply NCO likes her new job with the 1st SFAB in "Combat Service Support Soldiers take pride in building the 1st SFAB", DVIDS, November 9, 2017.

ATP 3-96.1 SFAB. The army is scheduled to publish Army Techniques Publication (ATP) 3-96.1 in January 2018. It provides doctrinal guidance and direction on how the Security Force Assistance Brigades plan, prepare, and executes operations globally. Could be useful to the 1st SFAB due to deploy to Afghanistan in early 2018.

DoD IG Report on Child Abuse by ANDSF. The U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General's office issued a report on November 14th highlighting the history of U.S. military reporting cases of child abuse by members of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

SFABs and Governance Advising. Do they have enough CA expertise? Three U.S. Army Civil Affairs officers provide some advice for the 1st SFAB on the art of governance advising. Read "A Governance Advising Framework for the Security Force Assistance Brigade", Small Wars Journal, November 18, 2017.

U.S. Special Forces and Training up the ANASF. Periodically throughout the year a graduation ceremony is held for a group of Afghan Commandos who have successfully completed the ANA Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC). To even apply to the ANASF an Afghan soldier must have served some time in the Afghan Commandos. Read more in "I Serve Afghanistan!: Afghan Soldiers Graduate to the Elite Ranks of Special Forces"Task and Purpose, November 12, 2017.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Marines Set Up Task Force Southwest in Helmand Province

In 2014 Regional Command South West (RC SW) was dis-established as part of the draw down of forces across Afghanistan. While other regional commands (2-star organizations) were replaced by 'Train Advise and Assist Commands' (1-star organizations) the RCs for the 203rd and 215th Corps were just disbanded. Resolute Support HQs attempted to provide 'long-range expeditionary advising' to these two corps but . . .  well, that's another story.

In 2015 it was determined that a full-time presence was needed in Helmand province as the security situation had deteriorated drastically in that area of Afghanistan. A small U.S. Army contingent called Task Force Forge was dispatched to provide training, advice, and assistance and to coordinate for enablers (air support, etc.) when needed. In the spring of 2017 Task Force Forge was replaced by a Marine contingent called Task Force Southwest. Read some news reports about the activities of Task Force Southwest below.

May 24, 2017. Working Together: Marine advisors with Task Force Southwest hit the ground running, DVIDS.

May 25,2017. "Marine Advisors Train Afghan Soldiers, Police", Department of Defense.

January 9, 2017. Task Force South West - Marines Return to Helmand Province, SOF News.