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Thread: The Advisory or Advisor Challenge

  1. #81
    Council Member Xenophon's Avatar
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    Default I know this thread is old...

    Sully, I don't know of any consolidated handbook besides the CALL ones, but there definitely needs to be one. I've been at this MTT thing for a month now and so much of our training, way more than I thought, was pure BS. I'd definitely like to see a product if anything comes of it.

  2. #82
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default

    Hi Xenophon,

    Quote Originally Posted by Xenophon View Post
    Sully, I don't know of any consolidated handbook besides the CALL ones, but there definitely needs to be one. I've been at this MTT thing for a month now and so much of our training, way more than I thought, was pure BS. I'd definitely like to see a product if anything comes of it.
    "Pure BS"? Darn, that's harsh! What are the BS areas? Maybe we can look at trying to see if we can get a special issue of SWJ together to cover some of them.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  3. #83
    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Default Help on the Way

    There's a semi-official/unofficial handbook on the way right now. LTC Nagl is heading up the effort using a bunch of former MiTT's here at Leavenworth to write the guide. First draft should be done this month with a goal to get it out this quarter.

    Still in rough copy status right now.

    Officially, there is a multiservice TTP manual being run by the USMC and JCISFA that will also be published this year (most likely)
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

  4. #84
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Contact Old Eagle

    JCiSFA has a handbook in print dated 1 August 2007; Old Eagle can help you get your hands on some.

    Tom

  5. #85
    Council Member Xenophon's Avatar
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    Default

    Pure BS"? Darn, that's harsh! What are the BS areas? Maybe we can look at trying to see if we can get a special issue of SWJ together to cover some of them.
    Indeed, sir. Wrote a Gazette article and everything.

  6. #86
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    Default The Advisory Challenge

    Special Warfare, Jan-Feb 08: The Advisory Challenge
    .....Critical to an adviser’s success is his ability to achieve “an unnoticed influence” for the ultimate purposes of furthering the objectives of the adviser (which are the national-security objectives of the adviser’s government). The amount of influence an adviser attains will be directly proportional to the sum of three factors: the rapport between the adviser and the host-nation commander or counterpart; the credibility of the individual adviser; and the perception by host-nation forces of the continued value of the relationship.

    The complexity of these tasks and the unique skill set required have historically been underestimated, possibly because of a lack of personal experience or familiarity on the part of most military leaders. This limited exposure and understanding has contributed to a long-standing bias that questions the value of advisory efforts or, at least, whether advisory efforts warrant the expenditure and diversion of limited resources, such as personnel, which are needed by the conventional fighting force. The intent of this article is to convey some of the critical aspects that enable advisers to be effective. Many of these aspects are intangible, are often not required of leaders of U.S. forces, and are therefore relatively unfamiliar.....

  7. #87
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    Default Army Aspects of the Military Assistance Program in Vietnam

    Study on Army Aspects of the Military Assistance Program in Vietnam, 10 June 1960
    .....The vast differences in terms of reference and nature of the threat as applied to the many countries receiving aid make selection of a truly representative worldwide sample nation impractical. Many of the basic principles governing the establishment and maintenance of an effective military force structure in the Western European NATO nations are invalid for application in the slowly developing countries of SE Asia. Since the US Army has much actual experience data with respect to the type threat existent in Europe and Korea, the study should explore an area in which our experience is more limited. Thus the example selected would most profitably be a HAAG operation in an area where the primary threat is an irregular force employing unorthodox organization and tactics. South Vietnam appears most typically representative of such a situation; study findings in this area would have the broadest possible application and would be of value in a wide variety of similar cases. Vietnam was selected therefore to be the primary country of investigation.....
    Last edited by Jedburgh; 09-09-2008 at 05:23 PM. Reason: Fixed link.

  8. #88
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    Default Communion in Conflict: USMC Advisor Studies

    I've recently been tagged for a year-long OIF MiTT. I'm pretty disappointed, as I was slated to command a company bound for OEF, but I'm studying up to make the best of this opportunity. I came across the following studies and articles which may be of interest to other advisors.

    US Marine Advisor Publications
    Communion in Conflict: The Marine Advisor in the Middle East
    Cross-Cultural Psychology: The Marine Advisor: Preparation for Duty Overseas

    For some historical perspective:
    Communion in Conflict: The Marine Advisor, Volume II, 1975
    Communion in Conflict: The Marine Advisor, Volume III, Vietnam 1954-1973
    Analysis of a Culture in Conflict: Comparative Personality Determinants between U.S. Marine Advisors and Vietnamese Soldiers

  9. #89
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    Default And of interest to ....

    Vietnam and Marine History buffs. Thanks. Hopefully, God (the Corps) will work in mysterious ways for you.

    A friend (of my wife and me) was a USMC advisor in Nam in the early 60s - couple of tours. He loved it.
    Last edited by jmm99; 04-04-2009 at 05:01 AM.

  10. #90
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the doc links VMI Marine and best to you on your OIF deployment. Understand the disappointment re company command... That said, good on you for making the best of your MiTT tour.

  11. #91
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    Marine Advisors with the Vietnamese Provincial Reconnaissance Units, 1966-1970
    ...Many historians consider the two most effective counterinsurgency organizations employed during the Vietnam War to have been the PRU and USMC Combined Action Platoons (CAP). In both cases, U.S.Marines played a significant role in the success of these innovative programs. It should be pointed out,however, that the number of U.S.Marines assigned to these programs was small and the bulk of the forces were locally recruited fighters. Both programs used a small cadre of Marines providing leadership, training, and combat support for large numbers of indigenous troops, and in so doing, capitalized on the inherent strengths of each.

    The author believes that both of these programs have applicability in any counterinsurgency where U.S. forces are called upon to assist a host government. Obviously, adjustments to these programs would have to be made to take into account local conditions,but the core concept of providing U.S.Marines to command or advise local militia and special police units is one that has great promise for success. With a clear understanding of why the PRUs and CAPs worked, and with the necessary adjustments to take into account local conditions, similar units can be created to defeat future insurgencies.With this in mind, the author hopes that this work will provide U.S. military planners with insights into creating and managing units capable of defeating a well-organized and highly motivated insurgent political infrastructure....

  12. #92
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    Default

    Nice post Jed, really good paper.

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    Default SFAT (Security Forces Assistance Team)

    Gentlemen, posted this in FID forum but little to no activity there...wanted to know if anyone had some feedback for this program...

    I am attempting to find any information concerning these newly formed FSF-TT (Foreign Security Force - Training Team). I've called random contacts down at the 162nd @ Polk to little / no avail. I have the option to stay at my current unit (Light Infantry) and deploy with them as a member of this team. What I don't want to be doing is staying in the rear strictly training / organizing forces, rather than training in addition to advising the ANA whilst on patrol, forward deployed. Any information would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.

    Basically, my last tour we experienced both ends of the spectrum. First 6 months we had Marine ETT's...good dudes. We could go into the valley and do a clearance while the USMC/ANA conducted a KLE...two separate autonomous units that could successfully do two separate acitivties at the same time. Ganjagal happened, Marines peaced out and we were then "partnered". Combined patrols decreased to maybe one every two weeks (in part due to kinetcs / korengal closure), and when they did combine with us, they left when it was time to play and our combat power was halved. PVT Snuffy, who knows only call of duty and MTV, is buddied up with PVT Ahmed, who knows only hasheesh and war...sufficed to say not much progress was made. Anyone else have a similar experience? TIA
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-10-2011 at 06:57 AM. Reason: Moved to RFI and PM to author

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    Default SFA-T Info

    Gator,

    As one of the first SFA Teams currently being used IAW the Army's vision, I have a wealth of knowledge for you and others that will be receiving orders soon.

    Rather than vomit alot of information on this first reply, I'd rather you ask specific questions to ease my typing load...

    So... with that being said, whatcha wanna know?

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    SFAT,

    Please send a link to any papers or articles that accurately describe the current SFAT concept (to minimize your typing).

    First set of questions:

    - What is the selection and training process for the SFATs?

    - What is the rank structure? If you do have E-3s and below, are they value added, or are both the E-3s and below and the partnered force being hurt? I am suggesting that perhaps E-3s and below in this role are missing key professional development opportunities as members of a squad or section. Hard to teach with confidence without personal experience.

    - Are the SFATs meant to be enduring, or are they adhoc teams that form for one mission, and when the mission is complete do they disband and the soldiers return to the ranks?

    - What did you see as the biggest success of the program? The biggest failure?

    - If you were king for a day, what three changes (if any) would you impliment to improve SFAT concept?

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    Default My two cents

    Bill,

    First, thanks for the questions. I truly want to help others understand the dynamic of this new concept. I was absolutely clueless when I was first informed of this mission and had to feel my way through- up until now.

    Second, I’m sorry to say I’m nowhere close to an academic so my responses might not be as “scholarly” as a typical reader may be accustomed to.

    Lastly, I’ll say this truly is a thankless job and has been by far my most challenging assignment, being the first one away from the troops that is. I will also add, the context of my writing is of my own opinion and does not reflect the opinions of other SFA-T members across the Army.

    So let’s begin…

    Q. What is the selection and training process for the SFATs?
    A. Absolutely no process for selection-- to my knowledge there was or is no vetting of potential members of the SFA-T. I myself called branch toward the end of my first tenure as a First Sergeant. I ask specifically for an Airborne assignment and another First Sergeant Job. I was first informed I was "selected" for this SFA gig when I started calling CSMs for potential slots in their battalion. In other words, I was “hoodwinked” by Infantry branch.

    The training process included training we conducted ourselves at home station and JRTC. While at JRTC we attended the Advisor Academy ran by the 162nd INF BDE. It was ten days in duration which was acceptable. My only issue with the AA was the generalities of Advising in Afghanistan. If I had it to do over again I would want region specific training.

    Q. What is the rank structure? If you do have E-3s and below, are they value added, or are both the E-3s and below and the partnered force being hurt? I am suggesting that perhaps E-3s and below in this role are missing key professional development opportunities as members of a squad or section. Hard to teach with confidence without personal experience.
    A. The Army’s TO&E calls for a 48 man SFA which consist of 24 two man teams; a Team Chief and a Deputy Team chief. The rank structure starts with two teams consisting of an O-6 and an E-9. The subsequent teams consist of 10 teams of an O-5 and an E-8; 12 teams of an O-4 and an E-7. I will attach the approved TO&E. The additional slots you will find on the TO&E were not filled. ---hope that made sense---

    With all that being said, the two man team TO&E was not followed. Our BDE leadership broke us down into eight, six man teams. Two teams would be assigned to the OCC-P/Rs -- I’m not 100 percent sure what the OCC-P stands for but I’m inclined to believe it’s Operation Coordination Center-Provincial/Regional. The other four, six man teams were assigned to specific ANA/AUP/ABP units. I will attach the modified TO&E as well.

    Q. Are the SFATs meant to be enduring, or are they adhoc teams that form for one mission, and when the mission is complete do they disband and the soldiers return to the ranks?
    A. Easy answer no/yes/yes

    With help from the big guy, I will assume a 1SG position when the deployment is over and all but a few Officers will move back to the units they came from or to a new unit. 98 percent of the Officers assigned for this mission are TDY. All of the NCO’s are PCS'd into our current unit and will fill PSG/1SG/SGM slots upon redeployment.

    Q. What did you see as the biggest success of the program? The biggest failure?
    A. Success: I can’t put into words how much I have learned. This assignment has opened my eyes to a lot of things E-8's don’t normally get the opportunity to see, hear, and do. I feel this assignment has broadened my horizons and better prepared me for future leadership positions and an overall understanding of strategic operations.

    Before this mission, Counterinsurgency was a word I had heard from Field Grades and alike. Now I truly understand and practice it every single day.

    Further, I can use my own team's success as an example. To make a long story short, you couldn't pry my boss and his counterpart Kandak CDR apart with a crow bar. Those two are inseparable. I can honestly say, that our team has made one hell of a lasting impact on at least one Infantry Kandak in the Region. And for lack of better terms, you can't buy that with any amount of Government funds.

    Failures: I wouldn’t say there are any failures. There are many things we could do better but failure is a strong word.

    In a few, blunt words:
    The Selection Process must be improved; DA must narrow down the selection criteria in order to select the right Officers and NCOs for this challenging role.

    Q. If you were king for a day, what three changes (if any) would you impliment to improve SFAT concept?
    1. Start an incentive program for SFA: Promotions; assignment of choice; staying on track in your career field and remaining competitive. (shoot, after this job, line time will be easy)

    2. I think SFA should be centrally controlled by USASOC or at least have oversight ; they are the experts in what we do here.

    3. SFA should not be an adhoc organization every BCT should have a dedicated SFA company with its own METL, Property Book, and CoC—heck, maybe even its own branch.


    I'll look through my collection unclassified write-ups on SFA to share with the group.

    If you have other specific questions please send them my way. If I don't have the answer I'll ask someone smarter than me....there's plenty of those guys around.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-13-2012 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Questions in quotes

  17. #97
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default SFAT (Security Forces Assistance Team)

    SFAT,
    Welcome aboard and thanks for some great info !

    Regards, Stan
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 02-17-2012 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Redundant text removed, thread moved in & out of Members Only area
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

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    SFA-T,

    Thanks for your detailed and insightful response, I found it helpful in assessing how the GPF is approaching this. To be frank it is better than I suspected.

    Your comment here speaks to your success in my opinion:

    I can use my own team's success as an example. To make a long story short, you couldn't pry my boss and his counterpart Kandak CDR apart with a crow bar. Those two are inseparable. I can honestly say, that our team has made one hell of a lasting impact on at least one Infantry Kandak in the Region. And for lack of better terms, you can't buy that with any amount of Government funds.
    Regarding your three recommendations:

    1. Start an incentive program for SFA: Promotions; assignment of choice; staying on track in your career field and remaining competitive. (shoot, after this job, line time will be easy)
    Agree, but the accelerated promotions since the war have made this more challenging. While not a popular opinion, I think they need to slow the promotions down so individuals can be developed professionally longer in each grade. Pay can be increased for time in service to address retention. Open to debate, but in the NCO ranks it seems appropriate that a future CSM should have 1st Sgt time, and it would be even better if he had 1st Sgt time and advisor time as a MSG. Same for officers, they still need key developmental positions to be better qualified to perform command positions, but they would likely be better leaders in IW situations if they also had advisor time under their belt.

    2. I think SFA should be centrally controlled by USASOC or at least have oversight ; they are the experts in what we do here.
    Agree, I think there would be some benefit to having Special Warfare Center run the program (that doesn't mean they mean to physically move the school), but simply based on the legacy knowledge for SFA in SWC since they have been training combat advisors for decades (IMA before it evolved into SWC). They also have cultural training to help advisors prepare for duty in their for their specific assignments (we need to start thinking about SFA beyond Afghanistan).

    3. SFA should not be an adhoc organization every BCT should have a dedicated SFA company with its own METL, Property Book, and CoC—heck, maybe even its own branch.
    I can see the value of a standing core organization (support staff) within a BDE, but advisors to be value added need to bring muddy boots experience from the ranks. Nothing quite as valuable as a SFC who has walked the talk as a platoon sgt when advising others in infantry tactics and leadership, same with a MAJ who served as a Plt Leader, XO, and Company Cdr, they bring a lot of experience (read value) to those they are advising. I think after a couple tours (6-8 months once we get back to a normal ops tempo) they should return to the ranks in most cases to stay current. What are the pro's and con's with that approach?
    Last edited by Bill Moore; 02-15-2012 at 04:46 AM.

  19. #99
    Council Member TAH's Avatar
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    Default Just Say'n

    The Army announced today a new mission to meet requirements in Afghanistan. Four brigade combat teams (BCTs), one separate brigade and an Army command, each in a modified configuration, will deploy between April and August 2012. Approximately 1,460 active component officers and senior non-commissioned officers along with approximately 300 DoD civilians will deploy in 18-person teams to provide training assistance to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

    The majority of those BCT soldiers and leaders not deploying will be reassigned to other units, in most cases on their respective installations. The remainder will focus on schooling, training, gunnery, and equipment maintenance and accountability.

    Beginning in the 3rd quarter of fiscal 2012, these security force assistance teams will help to further generate, employ, and sustain the ANSF during the transition of security responsibility to the Afghan government and its security forces.

    The units ordered to deploy are:

    2nd BCT, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.
    2nd BCT, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.
    3rd BCT, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.
    4th BCT, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.
    162nd Infantry Brigade, Fort Polk, La.
    1st Army, Rock Island Arsenal, Ill.

  20. #100
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    Default advice for new officer on SFAT mid 2013

    I have been reading the above and its great info. But does anyone have any more recent information or SFAT experience since?

    I'm a young/new officer that's going to be on an SFAT heading over to Afghanistan April/May. I'm psyched to be dealing with a lot of FID, but I don't have the raw first-hand experience. Trying to read up and do as much hw as I can before I get over there.

    Thanks!

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