Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Theater Military Advisory and Assistance Group (TMAAG)

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default Theater Military Advisory and Assistance Group (TMAAG)

    Theater Military Advisory and Assistance Group (TMAAG) by Brigadier General Thomas M. Jordan (USA Ret.) at SWJ Blog

    With the newly released publication of its principal operational manual, FM 3.0, the Army defined the principal conceptual underpinnings which will drive operational concepts over the next 10-15 years. The latest edition recognized the importance of understanding the complexity of the operational environment, and the nature of persistent conflict where the application of the military element of power is just one of the key ingredients necessary to achieve success. In light of this understanding, the Army adapted and raised the importance of stability operations onto an equal footing with combat operations. While the Army has made some important changes in training to implement this idea, the pending HQDA approval and resourcing decision of the Theater Military Advisory and Assistance Group (TMAAG) design and implementation strategy represents a visible and demonstrable investment in resources that reinforces the Army commitment to building partnership capacity (BPC) in an uncertain world. The proposed implementation strategy would establish one TMAAG for USARSO in FY10 (EDATE: 16 Oct 09) as proof of principle (PoP). The PoP would test the concept and make appropriate refinements as part of the overall determination to resource additional TMAAGs.

    TMAAG’s origin was the Army’s “Unified Quest 2007” series of seminar wargames that supported the Chief of Staff of the Army’s (CSA’s) annual study plan. One of the resulting insights was a potential gap in the Army’s ability to meet Combatant Commanders' daily operations requirements regarding theater security cooperation, military engagement, and Building Partnership Capacity (BPC). The CSA directed TRADOC, and in turn, the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas as the lead to develop an operational concept and organizational solution to the perceived gap...

  2. #2
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Good start and a needed capability. Though one

    has to wonder why it will take so long to get to a proof of principle test...

    I know why, I just don't agree it's necessary and I know it can be short circuited IF the right people want to do that. Obviously they don't. Which is not good...

  3. #3
    Council Member max161's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    142

    Default I understand the CSA has disapproved the TMAAG

    concept in its current form saying that it is not an Army requirement.
    David S. Maxwell
    "Irregular warfare is far more intellectual than a bayonet charge." T.E. Lawrence

  4. #4
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rocky Mtn Empire
    Posts
    473

    Default

    That's the rumor floating around here. -- See post on "outsiders view" (or whatever). That piece just gets scarier and scarier.

  5. #5
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Furhter deponent sayeth not...

    Posting rules preclude what I'd like to say. Sheesh.

  6. #6
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rocky Mtn Empire
    Posts
    473

    Default The key now is determining what comes next

    In the CSA's defense, TMAAG scratched only a small part of the security force assistance itch, and at substantial cost. TMAAG was Army only, Phase zero only, tactical only, training only, foreign militaries only. It still may have been a step in the right direction. The key now is to see how the USG develops the required capabilities and capacities to successfully engage with foreign security forces in order to build partner capacity.

    The true SFA requirement is
    joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational
    across all phases of operations
    from the ministerial/institutional level down to the individual soldier/policeman, border guard, etc
    includes organizing, training, equipping, rebuilding and advising (incl combat, if necessary) those forces
    includes military, police, paramilitary and infrastructure forces

    The argument that "we'll never do another Iraq" is irrelavent. We need to actively build partner capacity before things "go south", but also to build potential coalition partners for future operations.

  7. #7
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,099

    Question Does this mean -

    The only way something like this is going to come about is through a government led effort and organization ?

    Like USA oops forgot that's not happenin
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  8. #8
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default All true

    Quote Originally Posted by Old Eagle View Post
    In the CSA's defense, TMAAG scratched only a small part of the security force assistance itch, and at substantial cost. TMAAG was Army only, Phase zero only, tactical only, training only, foreign militaries only. It still may have been a step in the right direction. The key now is to see how the USG develops the required capabilities and capacities to successfully engage with foreign security forces in order to build partner capacity.
    Though I acknowledge a cost, I'm unsure the cost was that great.
    The true SFA requirement is
    joint, interagency, intergovernmental and multinational across all phases of operations from the ministerial/institutional level down to the individual soldier/policeman, border guard, etc. includes organizing, training, equipping, rebuilding and advising (incl combat, if necessary) those forces includes military, police, paramilitary and infrastructure forces.
    Agreed, an that's indicative of one flaw in Goldwater-Nichols and the creation of Military tribunes...
    The argument that "we'll never do another Iraq" is irrelavent. We need to actively build partner capacity before things "go south", but also to build potential coalition partners for future operations.
    Very much true...

  9. #9
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Largo, Florida
    Posts
    3,989

    Default The Army's TMAAG

    The Army's TMAAG by Colonel Robert Killebrew, USA (Ret.) at SWJ Blog.

    The Chief of Staff of the Army's recent decision not to field the proposed Theater Military Advisory and Assistance Groups (TMAAG) was the right one. Regardless of which party wins the general election this fall, future U.S. national security strategy will include increased assistance to allies fighting against radical Islamic aggression. Whether called "building partnership capacity" or some other acronym, the essential idea will be to help other states fight their own wars, rather than providing U.S. combat forces as a first resort. The Army's TMAAG was an effort to get out front of this emerging strategy, but it was taking the wrong route...

  10. #10
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    DeRidder LA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    First, to provide manpower for future advisory efforts, the Army should begin enlarging its inventory of mid-grade officers and NCOs. The Service can get a twofer by re-filling vacant TDA school slots for platform instructors and doctrine shops, as well as elsewhere in the force, positions now occupied by contractors or civil servants. An enlarged officer and NCO corps is not unnecessary overhead, as some have thought, but a national asset, particularly in these times. Assignment to Milgroup duty should once again become a routine assignment for successful officers, who would carry experience in first-line U.S. units out to host countries, then return to their mainstream careers (incidentally with area expertise in critical regions).
    I can only say that if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his butt on the ground...

    Tom

  11. #11
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Have to agree with Tom

    I hear what Killebrew is saying and he makes one particularly valid point; primacy of the Ambassador in-country. That's the only minor flaw in the T-MAAG concept and it can be addressed; we sure cannot afford, personnel wise, to go back to the full-bore MAAGs of the 60s.

    He's off base with the MilGroup fill idea. The T-MAAG was a way to address that and negate or at least overcome to an extent Tom's point -- what Killeberew says isn't going to happen...

    Easier to have the requisite skills in a holding pattern to dispatch to the Country Team OnO than it will be to dig 'em out of the system. Ad hoc is ad hoc...

    I do believe I see Phase Alpha of the senior leadership fast shuffle...

  12. #12
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    DeRidder LA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    I hear what Killebrew is saying and he makes one particularly valid point; primacy of the Ambassador in-country. That's the only minor flaw in the T-MAAG concept and it can be addressed; we sure cannot afford, personnel wise, to go back to the full-bore MAAGs of the 60s.

    He's off base with the MilGroup fill idea. The T-MAAG was a way to address that and negate or at least overcome to an extent Tom's point -- what Killeberew says isn't going to happen...

    Easier to have the requisite skills in a holding pattern to dispatch to the Country Team OnO than it will be to dig 'em out of the system. Ad hoc is ad hoc...

    I do believe I see Phase Alpha of the senior leadership fast shuffle...
    Thanks Ken! Most folks don't understand the role of the Ambassador or the country team and it is important that we emphasize and teach it.

    You are correct in saying that I see a refill of the various TDA slots with O4s and senior NCOs as unlikely. But I also see it as an inherent waste of talent that is desparately needed in the tactical world -- including advisors. Ibelieve that the US Army has made a tradition of wasting the rank of MAJ rather than targeting that rank for future duties. I served as a CPT in TDA slots teaching and writing as a FAO--it helped me to do that as it related to my work as a FAO. But I also saw any number of MAJs occupying slots simply because someone said the job required an O4 when it really did not require a Soldier. Today we are critically short MAJs and PPT slide master slots for O4s are not critical needs --if they ever were. What has long bothered me is a good maneuver company commander--if he commands "early" --will wait 14 years or so before he commands a maneuver battalion. I still see great potential value for MAJs commanding companies but at this stage and time, that too is a frog with wings idea. But MAJs can command MiTTs and they can advise host nation maneuver commanders and commanders of US partner units.

    Best

    Tom

  13. #13
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Rocky Mtn Empire
    Posts
    473

    Default

    I wish Bob would get out to the embassies in some of the countries we need to engage in.

    Right now, BY LAW, the SAOs are limited in size to 6 folk, except where expressly authorized to be bigger. Not goin' down that MAC-V rabbithole again.

    In some of the countries, the security assistance function is actually performed by a Foreign Service Officer as an additional duty.

    All that said -- as I posted elsewhere -- TMAAG did not scratch the itch, for many of the reasons that Bob Mentions.

  14. #14
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Good points...

    Tom said:
    But I also saw any number of MAJs occupying slots simply because someone said the job required an O4 when it really did not require a Soldier. Today we are critically short MAJs and PPT slide master slots for O4s are not critical needs --if they ever were. What has long bothered me is a good maneuver company commander--if he commands "early" --will wait 14 years or so before he commands a maneuver battalion. I still see great potential value for MAJs commanding companies but at this stage and time, that too is a frog with wings idea. But MAJs can command MiTTs and they can advise host nation maneuver commanders and commanders of US partner units.
    Too true. Lot of sharp Majors object to their misuse...

    Old Eagle said:
    All that said -- as I posted elsewhere -- TMAAG did not scratch the itch, for many of the reasons that Bob Mentions.
    True but scratching with no fingernails is better than not scratching at all. We probably don't have enough Backscratchers to issue widely...

  15. #15
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Fort Leavenworth, KS
    Posts
    1,512

    Default

    On a brighter note - I was TDY down at Hood this week and we interviewed some of the leadership involved with SFA. One of the objectives was to gauge attitudes toward SFA, and ask the question did they think the tactical pieces could be handled by a BCT. Overall the answer was yes. In fact 2nd BCT had been tasked with filling out on BDE level MiTT from its BCT HQs, and each subordinate squadron had received the same task for a BN level MiTT. The DIV and BCT placed such value on the mission that it placed its DCO as the BDE MiTT Chief, and ARS Sqdn took its S-3 and made him its BN MiTT Chief.

    They started out on the right foot, assessed the importance and priority of the mission correctly and put the right resources to the task. This allowed them unity of effort and unity of command. The DCO knew what was in the BCT and had strong relationships with the CMD group, as well as understanding the unit's perspective on the challenges. Having a BDE MiTT Chief who had commanded a Combat Arms BN, and was the DCO also gave him the requisite technical skills and credibility to advise. His experience level, judgment and professional maturity served him both in advisory role to an Iraqi BG counterpart, and his 06 BCT boss. Even when his IA BDE fell under a new U.S. BCT, his standing as an assigned DCO to a U.S. BCT still promoted the mission in a way even a respected BDE MiTT chief who is an individual augmentee would find hard to match.

    At the BN level, the ARS SCO chose his S-3 to lead his BN MiTT, a choice he said "hurt" at first since this was his good right hand, but a decision he knew was the right one, and one he'd make over given the results it earned him in terms of building up the IA BN they were partnered with, in synchronization with that element, and in terms of the insights they gained by doing so. By virtue of being a "vetted" leader, that SCO felt he could authorize his BN MiTT Chief to order the release of his QRF. I compared that with my own experiences, I had a great relationship with my CF counterpart, but it would have been impossible for me to have gained such authority, our relationship was only months old.

    I asked if they thought they could go back over and do this on a larger scale appropriate to the conditions - be it Iraq, or anywhere else. The key thing these leaders said they needed was time and authority to assume risk in other areas not critical to the mission - e.g. does every tank crew need to go through table VIII? These leaders had already done it, they had task organized in a manner that accomplished the mission. We talked some about future deployments, e.g. if they were tasked to go back over and had a year to train up, and were told they were going to conduct SFA as the primary task, what would they ask for? Time, and acceptance of risk. Time up front to consider the conditions that would frame their mission analysis - so they could consider what had changed in the area and with the unit they would be assisting (what type of security force exists, and what do the threats require that force be able to do), and risk so they could dedicate more training time to enablers such as language, and the type of training that improves individual skills at advising - then they could bring all that together to figure out the C2 pieces of teams and the frame work for sustaining them. They overwhelmingly felt the BCT had the means in terms of human capital, equipment and leadership to do the mission, after all, they'd just proven it - but they believed that with some time and risk acceptance, they could move the ball further forward. It also gets over part of the soldier and family turbulence of PCS individual augmentees to places like Riley, plus you get the benefit of a unit that trains and deploys together for the duration.

    I think they have a good exportable model for the tactical level advisor piece., one that takes advantage of built in trust and resources. I'd be willing to bet that a DIV HQs could support a DIV MiTT just as well, and perhaps a Corps could do likewise. This is the part we've talked about before that if its important enough to say its a priority, then it needs to be reflected in our core beliefs - if it becomes a BCT, DIV , Corps level task, then it gets reflected in the rest of the DOTMLPF gears, gets incorporated faster into our PME, helps our leaders overcome bias - because the job description on their ORB, etc. says S-3 or DCO, but could be reflected in their OER/NCOER that they were selected internally to the key position for which that BN or BCT was selected, and could help to generate ASIs that in turn allow BNs and BCTs to monitor schools and development and forecast training.

    As for where you might go for ministerial level positions, how about the service component commands and the GCC HQs? To serve in those billets make it a requirement that they get the right education in route such as a course in FMS, or a what ever that particular SCC is responsible inside that GCC. Maybe we could also task out of HRC, Accession CMD etc, and put together a ministerial team(s)

    The tough one I think are the ones that fall outside the mil to mil. Building a MOI, or a MoJ is going to require additional skill sets not routinely found in DoD - building an exportable "whole of government capability and capacity is going to take time, meanwhile we'll have to find better ways of augmenting or adapting DoD existing DoD capacity to meet the growing need.

    Best, Rob
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 03-27-2008 at 09:40 PM.

  16. #16
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    DeRidder LA
    Posts
    3,949

    Default Hood (1st Cav) Gets Lucky

    Just a note on Hood and specifically 1st CAV Division. They got lucky. MG Dan Bolger will be headed their way to assume command soon. He will certainly bring an interesting and personal perspective on the issues surround SFA, MiTTs, and integration with conventional forces on the COIN battlefield.

    Best

    Tom

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •