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  1. #1
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    Default LTC NAgl's "A Battalion's Worth of Good Ideas"

    I have been closely following the MTT debate the past 2 years because it has been having a major impact on company grade officers, and will likely continue to do so.

    The two main debates I pick out are: 1. Should we be advising? and 2. Who should be the advisers?

    1. The first debate seems to have been resolved, and the Army has accepted that we will need to train and advise foreign nations so their security forces can take over and we can leave.

    2. The second issue is much more heated and still unfolding. LTC Nagl calls for an Advisor Corps, which permanently trains and advises foreign nations. Some argue that BCTs can do it as part of their full-spectrum capabilities. Others argue that SF should do it. I think the realistic answer is that a combination of all 3 of these will continue.

    First, Advisor Corps. This would be a great idea, but I don't know if it is realistic due to manpower, skills required, and personnel issues. Currently, MTT's are officer and senior NCO heavy. An Advisor Corps of 20,000 officers and senior NCO's would drain the conventional force. Finding 20,000 that are qualified and have the motivation to do it would be a further challenge. Right now, MTT's are ad hoc and largely based on dwell time. Thousands of officers and sgts are not volunteering for these assignments. One friend told me, "If I wanted to advise Iraqis, I would have submitted a packet (SF packet)." One branch was offering choice of duty AND grad school, but could not fill slots. Now because those follow-on assignments are filled, branch will try to get you a top 5 choice. Further, on the officer side, Captains want to command. The MTT is not a command track assignment, and an Adviser Corps with 2-3 year duty, delays the captain's chance to command. As the Major boards are coming earlier and earlier, this will create two tiers, those who commanded right away, and those not as lucky. We all know that despite what the Army says, command is more important than any other job. Maybe not right, but reality.

    BCTs. To build internal MTTs, the BCT could task each BN with one team, or could pull up the manpower for centralized Brigade Level control and training. The manpower crunch of CPTs, MAJ, SFC's, and MSG's would definitely hurt the BNs and Brigade. To train these teams, the BCT would need to pull external resources, or send their pax to a centralized school. Standards and doctrine need to be published to allow units to train the MTT mission if it is to become a METL task. The only upside to this is cohesion, as there is increased chance these pax have worked together before, though this is not guaranteed.

    SF. I am not an expert in this realm, but I know that training local forces is a SF mission. The problem in Iraq and Afghanistan is the sheer number of forces that need training and advising. The benefits of SF units are obvious; there are just not enough of them.


    Where does this leave the Army? Not in a good spot. Right now, we're using a combination of these 3 methods. A centralized Advisor Corps would probably be the best solution, but I do not think it is realistic with the force we have today. It is probably the hard right, but I do not think it will happen.


    This was the result of mulling over the article during PT run this morning, hopefully it makes some sense.

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    Default Excellent commentary

    You have correctly pointed out that there are costs to all such approaches. But, it seems to me - with due respect to my friend, John Nagl - that the place to start in the long term is an expansion of SF. I would argue for 2 addtiional SF groups with #1 priority given to the FID mission. I would also expand the National Guard (or USAR) with 2 additional SF groups with the same priority. Where do we get these units? Congress has to expand the Army and that costs money and time.

    We also need to do the other things because, no matter how much we expand SF, it will not be enough. However, to do what is needed in all areas and still have adequate strength for all the required conventional missions we need to expand the Army. Indeed, we may need to expand the entire armed services to the levels we had at the end of the Cold War. Note that this was a period of no draft - the AVF was well established.

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Default

    Isn't the problem the long duration of an advisory tour? Why not keep it at the same length as a combat tour?

    And why not make it mandatory for higher officer and NCO ranks? Kind of cross-cultural training. Foreign/allied troops learn the American way, U.S. officers/NCOs get exposure in potential ops areas.

    And I think that an Advisory Corps is totally wrong. Teacher and trainer get a good part of their value and authority from hands-on experience. An AC would be the academic approach - might as well outsource to Blackwater then!

    And troops should be "advised" by their respective weapons branch officers/NCOs. Tankers by tankers, artillery by artillery, SF by SF.

    Same goes for aerial and naval forces.

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    Default Wow! where to begin?

    Distiller--

    Advisory duty really is much more than just training American kids to be soldiers. It takes much more than being able to work in the language to do it well. It takes being alert to the fact that another country's soldiers believe that they honestly know what they need to do and that you and your advisors don't have all (or even most) of the answers. But it is in our national interest to get them to change their way of doing business. Not in every way but in some critical ways.

    Let me give you 3 examples of the difficulties of an advisory effort:

    1. In Honduras, I led a team that was working with the Honduran military in a situation that could have resulted in serious misunderstandings and down the road difficulties for us. My team was an ad hoc group of officers from SOUTHCOM HQ & USARSO. One of the officers was a female captain from Puerto Rico - a native Spanish speaker. At one point, she braced the Honduran LT who was working with us and began to direct him using the familiar form of you - tu. What she didn't realize was that Honduras is one of the most formal Spanish speaking countries in the world and that using tu with this officer was a serious insult. I found it necessary to intervene to remove her from the situation and repair the damage.

    2. In Panama after the invasion, my organization was charged with providing the initial training for the Panamanian police who were made up of exclusively Panama Defense Force personnel brought back on duty. They had all been trained as soldiers and most had spent careers as police officers. So, when our 3 took a group of them out to the range to fire their weapons he asked if they knew how to shoot. They all answered that of course they did. So, he put them on the range and began to fire familiarization. He quickly realized that their fire discipline was a disaster and that they were "drilling holes in the sky!" So, he had to adjust and make sure they understood that they really needed some refressher training. I should add that he was a fully qualified Latin American FAO who spoke excellent Spanish and was, himself, a graduate of the Colombian Lancero (Ranger) school. No US MP who was not also a FAO could have turned that situation around.

    3. Throughout our successful advisory effort in El Salvador, the USMILGP was commanded by fully qualified FAOs who were often SF as well. All the trainers were SF or FAOs (or both). Yet, from 1981 through the end of the war in 1992, the MILGP always wanted to get the Salvadorans to develop an NCO corps like ours. But it wasn't going to happen. Their military culture would not stand for it. My point is that even the best qualified US officers and NCOs in an advisory situation may well miss the point and attempt something that is undoable. Part of the problem was that tours as advisors were only a year long. As the tour was ending the advisor was just beginning to understand what was doable and what was not.

    So, while I don't think John's Advisory Corps is the best solution, I do think it can serve as a fair to middling interim solution to the problem we are currently facing along with some of the other things patmc discussed.

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Good post, patmc...

    Think you've well stated the current dilemma -- and it is that. The Advisor Corps isn't going to fly -- and, IMO, should not. I have to disagree with John on adding more SF Groups, they're having quality problems manning the current force structure. He is correct in saying that even were they expanded, they could not do it all.

    Thus you're stuck with ad-hoc ways of getting the conventional Army to do the Advisory job when it's required. The best single thing that could be done to improve that capability is a rapid language course...

    In whatever language is required in the future. Of course, my solution is don't do COIN and advising on a major level; we really don't do it well at all. Never have and that is unlikely to change. We haven't got the patience for it and one can't do that kind of stuff even marginally well if one's going to have short tours and 15 months is a short tour; 12 months is also. Seven months or less is just a visit.

    We need to convince folks that hosting people who wish us ill is uncool. Best way to do that is to visit those that do so in a an unpleasant mode, wreak major destruction and leave rapidly -- saying be nice or we'll be back.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default It's Not Either Or; It's Both

    Just to echo John T.

    Sometimes even the Pros from Dover don't get it. My greatest headache in establishing a demining program in Rwanda was cultural ineptitude on the part of two successive field grade SF officers. I --using the Ambassador's charter to do so--denied one country clearance to come back into the country. The other was relieved by his chain of command at the request of USSOCEUR and yours truly, again with Ambassadorial concurrence.

    I heard for way too long in my career as a FAO that basic skills counted more than intercultural skills. That is simply a dumb argument to make because you have to have both. The locals must respect you for what you know and like you for the way that you relate to them. I have known "FAOs" who might have technical skills but did not like the locals and showed it. I have also known FAOs who were fine in relating to the locals but who were tactucally clueless.

    Selection of advisors has to bridge both qualities. If we go through the effort to train advisors and send then down range, we have to screen, retain, and reward those who can do the job.

    Tom

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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default An alternative point of view

    Maybe we ought to consider this from a different angle--rather than bring the Mountain (aka MTT) to Mohammed (AKA host country military), maybe we should bring Mohammed (AKA those to be trained) to the Mountain (AKA the trainers).

    Once upon a time I remember doing mission planning to bring a couple of battalions worth of troops from another country here to the good old USofA and training them here. (We did not get the mission; I do not know whether it ever actually came to pass.)

    Anyone have any thoughts on using that avenue as a means of getting the job done. We could develop a training cadre for another country's armed forces--sure would seem to be as cost effective as us sending a bunch of our folks down range for extended deployments. Sort of like Patrice Lumumba University on a larger, more conventionally focussed scale.

    As an adjunct to this, we might try a variant on the old AC/RC partnership program--we could partner some of our units with those of the target nation's armed forces, do a training needs assessment , and let the two units work out a way forward to meet solve the training needs.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default

    Anyone have any thoughts on using that avenue as a means of getting the job done. We could develop a training cadre for another country's armed forces--sure would seem to be as cost effective as us sending a bunch of our folks down range for extended deployments. Sort of like Patrice Lumumba University on a larger, more conventionally focussed scale.
    We have done that withn School of the Americas. It has its strengths and it has its weaknesses. We have also done it here with partnership units from the newly emerged republics and we do it as a matter of course with JMRC and flyaways. The differences are in degrees of stability in the particular country and region as well in the visibilty we and the host nation desire. There are also questions of intent and force design. When you bring another country's individual soldiers here you are training the soldier and then allowing him to adapt what he learns to his own circumstance. If you bring a unit here, then you are training that unit to do it the way we do it. That works well with some countries and less so with others. But if your intent is to assist a country by increasing its military capacity, advising on the ground with some external training is at least to me the best way to go.

    Tom

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    Default

    I spent, oh, a third of my career as an intstitutional trainer but never as an adviser. I have worked with advisers, SF, and MTTs in operational settings. So my perspective is as an outsider with some theoretical knowledge. I would make a few comments.

    1. Competent trainers can't spend their whole careers as trainers. They must be regreened or they lose competency fairly rapidly. The shelf life of an institutional trainer is probably about three years. Moreover, the 'training' world and the 'operational' world both benefit when you have a fairly comprehensive turnover. The operator who spent three years as a trainer tends to have a firmer grasp of his subject than one who never served as a trainer at all, while a trainer with no recent operational experience is less effective than one who has such experience.

    2. As pointed out, not everybody can be a good trainer or a good adviser. Some can be both. I have seen 'experts' from the SF/FAO/agency world who were not effective in these roles; I have also seen 'non-experts' with no particular cultural, linguistic, or social preparation beyond what one gets at the deployment center, turn out to be exceptionally capable at bonding with their 'native' charges.

    With that in mind, it seems self-defeating to try to form a seperate corps of soldiers who only 'do' instructing/advising. The 'foot soldiers' in this effort must be rotated in and out of the 'real' army. On the other hand, there should be a corps of specialists who do the screening, recruiting, organizing, quality control, and deep thinking. They could be drawn from a variety of sources into something like the proposed Advisory Corps. I think a model for this type of organization already exists in the British Army - unfortunately I can't recall the archaic name they have hung on it, but it started as the School of Musketry and most of its members seem to be Welsh LE commissions.
    Anyway, this is a fairly small group whose sole function in life is to oversee various forms of intstitutional training. They are the experts not in the actual subjects being taught, but in the creation of training programs, the selection and training of instructors, the evaluation of programs, and the creation of appropriate standards. They are seeded throughout the training world and work directly for training commanders, but they are guided by a strong sense of expertise and a firm belief in the principles of their corps. They also drink like fish, but that may just be a British thing.
    What we would have to add is a cultural/linguistic element and perhaps some regional orientation.

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    Default We did it

    with one of the Salvadoran Immediate Reaction Battalions - all 1200 soldiers. It simply was too expensive to continue.

    The School of the Americas and its successor, the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation, generally trained soldiers and officers in individual skills. USARSA, when it was in Panama, did run courses for classes of a number of Latin American military academies usually given at the end of pre-commisioning. Another feature of USARSA was its Guest Instructor program where Latin American officers were integrated into the faculty.

    That said, neither USARSA nor WHINSEC are really effective training programs for large units. We also did some police training - I think for Haiti - on certain US Army posts with courses run by both military and police. Again, it is expensive and I'm not sure how effective it is. The best one seems to have been the Salvadoran but it took a big chunk of 7th SFG to do it and was, as I said, prohibitively expensive.

    JohnT

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Great post, Eden.

    Not only my experience but most people I've ever talked to at any length on the topics corroborate your two numbered points.

    This:
    ...On the other hand, there should be a corps of specialists who do the screening, recruiting, organizing, quality control, and deep thinking. They could be drawn from a variety of sources into something like the proposed Advisory Corps.
    I believe is very true and very important. We are going to be -- have to be -- a total spectrum force whether that is liked or not. We have that capability to be that, all that's required is the will and effort. What you say is a requisite first step; we simply have to better select and screen people for jobs. The key to doing that well is, as you say:
    ...Anyway, this is a fairly small group whose sole function in life is to oversee various forms of intstitutional training... (emphasis added /kw)
    The bureaucracy is a BIG part of the problem...
    ...What we would have to add is a cultural/linguistic element and perhaps some regional orientation.
    T-MAAG...

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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    We have done that withn School of the Americas. It has its strengths and it has its weaknesses. We have also done it here with partnership units from the newly emerged republics and we do it as a matter of course with JMRC and flyaways. The differences are in degrees of stability in the particular country and region as well in the visibilty we and the host nation desire. There are also questions of intent and force design. When you bring another country's individual soldiers here you are training the soldier and then allowing him to adapt what he learns to his own circumstance. If you bring a unit here, then you are training that unit to do it the way we do it. That works well with some countries and less so with others. But if your intent is to assist a country by increasing its military capacity, advising on the ground with some external training is at least to me the best way to go.

    Tom
    Gee Tom, it sounds like we need someone to clarify the goals (both the US's and those of the countries we are assisting) then, don't we?

    I agree with you that an in-country presence in a stable environment is probably the best way to try to improve an existing capacity. It does not require importing a ton of resources to execute, and one can observe and critique in a relatively leisurely way. It is sort of like coaching a sports team during an unopposed scrimmage.

    But, we do not seem to have that sort of luxury in the current AOR. Instead, we are playing an away match in a hostile stadium (think England v. Italy in Rome playing a Round 1 World Cup spoccer match) in a "best-of-seven" tournament. We are looking to replace our A side with the freshman side, even though the score in the current match is still close, there are at least 4 or 5 more matches to play, and the other side is slipping in ringers from last year's world championship team to play in the "skill" positions.

    Maybe if we can get the freshman side away from the distractions, give them some good training sessions on a "neutral" pitch away from the screaming fans in the stadium, and simultaneously slip some of our own "A" side ringers in to help out the team we are using to substitute for the very tired folks currently on the pitch, we can build a dynasty that will win this time and hold on to the championship for years to come.

    I know the problems with sports metaphors. Please insert "achieve a desireable and sustainable outcome" for "win this time and hold on to the championship for years to come."

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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Not only my experience but most people I've ever talked to at any length on the topics corroborate your two numbered points.

    This:I believe is very true and very important. We are going to be -- have to be -- a total spectrum force whether that is liked or not. We have that capability to be that, all that's required is the will and effort. What you say is a requisite first step; we simply have to better select and screen people for jobs. The key to doing that well is, as you say:The bureaucracy is a BIG part of the problem...T-MAAG...
    Sure sounds like "train the trainers" to me, Ken. With the added point that we do an especially good job at selecting that initial cadre. Maybe we could use some of our SF brethern as that cadre to train our "conventional" folks as a break from their deployments.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Nothing new under the sun...

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    Sure sounds like "train the trainers" to me, Ken. With the added point that we do an especially good job at selecting that initial cadre. Maybe we could use some of our SF brethern as that cadre to train our "conventional" folks as a break from their deployments.
    Whoops -- already used that line once today...

    All true. Get SF off the fun of door kicking and back to their less fun and hard work primary job and that's easily achievable. Been done before, works well.

    Interesting aside on the selection of the initial cadre. The Infantry School back in the '70s tried an experiment with IOBC. They decided to go to a Cadre process and selected a really sharp CPT, LT, 1SG and four SFCs. Ran the Class. It did great -- exceeded all the norms and broke records on everything. All observers agreed it was a highly beneficial effort and di great things. Then they tried to replicate that Cadre throughout the IOBC Bn. Pipeline couldn't support the quality required.

    So said all involved. My take was that the pipeline wouldn't support the quality involved, a different thing...

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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Interesting aside on the selection of the initial cadre. The Infantry School back in the '70s tried an experiment with IOBC. They decided to go to a Cadre process and selected a really sharp CPT, LT, 1SG and four SFCs. Ran the Class. It did great -- exceeded all the norms and broke records on everything. All observers agreed it was a highly beneficial effort and di great things. Then they tried to replicate that Cadre throughout the IOBC Bn. Pipeline couldn't support the quality required.

    So said all involved. My take was that the pipeline wouldn't support the quality involved, a different thing...
    Saw interesting outputs tied to quality of Platoon Level cadre at ROTC advanced camp--cadet platoons with good RA cadre (SFC and CPT) did great stuff, platoons with not so great cadre did less well. (I can here you saying "duh!!!" now--wait for it.) To your "could versus would" point, good cadre was hard to come by--no one who was a fast burner wanted to be sent off to be ROTC cadre. Funny thing though--platoons with a high percentage of prior service cadets seemed to do better with poor cadre than with good cadre (maybe it was because it was what they were used to when they were EM).

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    Default Ken, I certainly don't

    want to expand SF (or the entire force) precipitously. My focus was pretty long term. IMHO SF should never reduce quality - I am skeptical of direct accession. Would much rather see SF accessing real sergeants than ones who just came on board.

    But I am concerned with how we solve the short and medium term problems better. John's Advisor corps idea ought to be looked at and possibly tweaked.

    On re-greening. Yes, very important. But there are several ways to skin that cat. SF does it one way. Other units will do it differently. But it always needs to be done. Is that one of the costs of making SF a branch?

    Writ large, the Army (armed forces) have passed a lot of functions off to the private sector. We can't just take them all back all at once. (Some we may never want to take back!) But for those functions that should be returned to the Army, it will take time, increased force structure, and more $.- lots more!

    Cheers

    JohnT

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default

    I agree with you that an in-country presence in a stable environment is probably the best way to try to improve an existing capacity. It does not require importing a ton of resources to execute, and one can observe and critique in a relatively leisurely way. It is sort of like coaching a sports team during an unopposed scrimmage.
    I am not saying that is the ideal; merely that it is probably the easiest if all we are doing is training them.

    But, we do not seem to have that sort of luxury in the current AOR. Instead, we are playing an away match in a hostile stadium (think England v. Italy in Rome playing a Round 1 World Cup spoccer match) in a "best-of-seven" tournament. We are looking to replace our A side with the freshman side, even though the score in the current match is still close, there are at least 4 or 5 more matches to play, and the other side is slipping in ringers from last year's world championship team to play in the "skill" positions.

    Maybe if we can get the freshman side away from the distractions, give them some good training sessions on a "neutral" pitch away from the screaming fans in the stadium, and simultaneously slip some of our own "A" side ringers in to help out the team we are using to substitute for the very tired folks currently on the pitch, we can build a dynasty that will win this time and hold on to the championship for years to come.
    Sports metaphors aside, we don't have the luxury in the current wars to do what you propose. Certainly we are doing limited training abroad (as in outside the AOR) and we have even had small elements here. In any case, there is something to be said for doing it on the ground where it counts the most.

    And that is where advising differs from training. The advisor lives and fights with his counterparts; the trainer gives the training in the field or classroom and then is done.

    Gee Tom, it sounds like we need someone to clarify the goals (both the US's and those of the countries we are assisting) then, don't we?
    Yeah and it is a hell of a lot harder to do than it is to put it in a rhetorical question. That, too, is very much part of advising.

    Tom

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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    And that is where advising differs from training. The advisor lives and fights with his counterparts; the trainer gives the training in the field or classroom and then is done.
    Need not be that way. We used to send our AC battalion that was detailed to do RC training support to beautiful Camp Shelby, MS to live and work with their ARNG counterparts for the duration of the summer AT sessions--they lived, worked, and played together for the duration.


    BTW, I was not trying to be flippant with my point about clarifying the goal. I was suggesting that we do not seem to have unity of purpose between the MTT plan and the overall plan for our commitments in the AOR, probably because IMHO we do not seem to have a clearly articulated and consistent set of goal statements. It is pretty hard to plan and execute an operation successfully without a clear and consistent mission statement/statement of commander's intent.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    I think the realistic answer is that a combination of all 3 of these will continue.
    Pat I think you've nailed it. There are questions of capabilities and questions of capacity. There are "surge" requirements and "steady state" requirements.

    While ARSOF has a great deal of capability with regard to FID (for reasons of character selection, because they receive specialized training, and because the missions they do build experience in those areas), the capacity requirements have created conditions where the demand outstrips what was up to time our answer as a resource. There are also other missions which have increased the OPTEMPO for all of our SOF. I'd say one of the great things about ARSOF is that offers us a capability to work with indigenous forces where the infrastructure and sustainment mechanisms are immature, and they offer us a higher probability of success when the outcome requires people with special character, training and skills we don't normally see in the GPF.

    With regard to BCTs, the reality on the ground is that BCTs are being placed in conditions that often require them to either field, augment, or support the gamut of transition teams. The character of the BCT CDR determines how successful they will be. Even within a BCT though, there are issues of capability and capacity - e.g. if a BCT gets asked to field a BDE MiTT, and 3 x BN MiTTs to work with an IA BDE on a 1:1 ratio, that is pretty well withing both their capability and capacity - considering that they still must conduct day to day offensive and defensive operations, and support the TTs they have fielded. If however that same BCT got asked to work on a 1 to say 6 ratio they would have a capacity issue. If they got asked to provide 2 IA BDES worth of MiTTs, 6 x PTTs (police) and 6 x BTTs, they'd have both a capacity and a capability issue. This last bit is important, because although we are using military teams to train PTTs, SpTTs, and BTTs, the skill set we as a military bring to a table is not going to be a perfect lift for training police (although we probably could mitigate that some with a good train up - in the end, we are often the only folks who can operate in those conditions). If a BCT was given the mission to do more, far enough out to do a good MA, and were given the additional resources (time, augmentation, special training, etc.) they could improve more I think - but you can only pile the plate so high before stuff falls off. I'd add that as more people come from TTs back into BCTs, the training base for the BCTs to draw on with regard to understanding the advisory mission is growing.

    Individual augmentees brought together in an Ad-Hoc fashion - will remain a staple I think for as long as our steady state looks like it does now, or increases - ex. the need for more TTs in Afghanistan has already been identified. While this is far from perfect, it does allow for some tailored solutions. It goes not only to what normally springs to mind when we say "advisory effort" in Iraq now, but also to the PRTs, and the advisory teams that work at the ministerial levels working to build institutions and bureaucracy's that supports the kind of DOTMLPF developmental challenges HN security forces must create to support the government. Yes it is ad-hoc, but I'd say mostly these teams have done OK (and in many cases better then OK, and a few not so good), and at a time where manning is so critical across the force, it may just be the best we can do. I'm not saying we can't or should not tighten up with regard to HRC selection - particularly when there is a critical advisory job that requires both specific technical experience and professional maturity, but I am saying that within the broader context of the mission in Iraq, I think we continue to get better at it.

    Some of the problems we create for ourselves. Ex. if a BN CDR responsible for day to day security operations in a city has assessed that the HN Army forces or doing pretty good and can stand on their own with minimal assistance, but the police need allot of help or they are going to fail, and he does not have the organic combat power to form PTTs out of hide, should he have the authority to reorient those ad-hoc, non-organic MiTTs in his AOR to turn them into PTTs? My point is that every set of conditions is a little different and somebody has to be in charge of the limited resources available in order to move things forward as effectively and efficiently as they can be, we often create self inflicted GSWs with regard to making it difficult for the tactical and operational commanders to adapt to the conditions that are emerging vs. the ones somebody sees from way back in space, time, or both.

    The last think I'd say to consider, where does this mission go in the future? After Iraq and Afghanistan (whatever that means in years) do we believe that we no longer have a capacity issue? If you have no capability in a given area, then do you have any capacity? If you believe that you are going to have capability and capacity issues in meeting requirements generated as a result of a broader strategy, or FP - how do you institutionalize it do where you don't have to go through the Ad-Hoc process we did in Iraq and Afghanistan? What is the risk to the GPF for doing so? What is the risk for not?

    These are some of the challenges with regard to determining where SFA (Security Force Assistance) needs to go, but they are not all. No easy answers.

    BTW - I talked with a BCT S-1 this last week, he told me they had projected inbound for their unit reset a total of three FGs for the BCT - they will go through the reset like everybody else, piecemeal, and hopefully they'll have all their folks prior to deploying, but I'd be willing to bet there will be some 03s filling some 04 holes, and 02s filling some 03 holes - things are tough all over.

    Best Regards, Rob

  20. #20
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    Default Rob, I think you've got this one right on the money.

    What interests me is the command relationship between the BCT cdr and the MiTTs in his AO. If he has them OPCON he should have no problem at all. If they are TACON then he should be able to give them a new mission. But, it it is any other relationship he has a problem - greater or smaller but a problem (or should I say challenge). Of course, if he is a culturally insenstive jerk then I, for one, don't want him to have OPCON or TACON of the MiTT.

    What is the "normal" command relationship in this situation?

    Cheers

    JohnT

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