Training/ Mentoring in Afghanistan

AWP

Formerly Known as Freefalling
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I do not wish to see this become a thread bashing the Marines. If it does, it will get shut down. I do not wish to see the Marines mentioned in the article disparaged. If soldiers were the focus I would think, act, and feel the same way.

Personally, I have to wonder if this is the best the US can do. By "the best" I would make the same statement if it were an E-4 and E-3 from the 82nd, 10th Mtn, 1st ID, etc.

Perhaps I'm too fobbit these days or ignorant of the behind-the-scenes activites going on, but I don't see how we can take two young Marines (or soldiers) and turn them loose with a platoon of locals and then expect results, especially in a place like the Korengal.

An E-4 and an E-3 are the front line in making the locals an effective fighting force?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30508543/


There are nearly 30 Afghan soldiers here. Their senior mentor, Cpl. Sean P. Conroy, of Carmel, N.Y., is 25 years old. His assistant, Lance Cpl. Brandon J. Murray, of Fort Myers, Fla., is 21.
 

AssadUSMC

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As a former Marine, I am with you 100%... There are some salty young sergeants out there, but this is a job for a SSGT 0369, minimum. Bring a couple of experienced squad leaders along with him and it'd be job done. A Corporal and a Lance Criminal is a lot to ask...
 

moobob

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The Corporal bashes the Army in the article. :rolleyes:

“They are experienced and understand the principles of the ambush,” he said. “But they are not very good shots. If these guys knew how to shoot like even the U.S. Army, we would be taking 50 percent casualties on all of our patrols.
 
J

JJ sloan

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This has been the mainstay of SF since it's inception; to train, lead and advise host nation forces in all aspects of soldiering. The reason that the United States has chosen to use conventional forces instead of using those of us who are trained and experienced in this mission is beyond me. Proffessional jealousy? Meanwhile, there are SF ODA's over here that are without partner forces and therefor unable to operate in a mentor capacity. What a collossal waste of experience and a shame for those who would receive such an asset. I love Marines, they are an excellent force but they do not bring the training capabilities and assets that come with an ODA.:2c:
 

RackMaster

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We're doing it with Sergeants, Warrant Officers and Captains E7 and E8 and O3.

We basically do the same thing depending on the speciality being mentored. If it is a trade like communications, then lower ranks are used but only those with the maturity and experience. And even then they are not alone, it is a team of mentors; not just one or two.

There's a couple videos embedded on the page if you go to the link in the title below.
Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams


Background

An Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT, pronounced “omelette”) is a group of ISAF soldiers organized in multidisciplinary teams to work with a specific formation of the Afghan National Army (ANA). This international professional development initiative is under way throughout the ANA to develop the collective and individual skills required to achieve and maintain peace and stability in Afghanistan.
The OMLTs are also responsible for liaison between the ANA and ISAF at the provincial level. (Both ISAF and the ANA are deployed across Afghanistan by provinces: each province has a Corps of the ANA and an ISAF Task Force.) This arrangement ensures that the ANA receives the resources and information it needs to conduct joint operations with ISAF task forces, and ISAF is fully aware of the state of ANA operational capability.

Canadian OMLTs

Work with the Afghan National Army

In Kandahar Province, a Canadian OMLT advises and mentors the units and individual soldiers of the 1st Brigade of the ANA’s 205th Corps, and provides liaison with Task Force Kandahar, headquartered at Kandahar Airfield. (Task Force Kandahar is the ISAF designation for its Canadian contingent. The Canadian designation for this 2,500-strong formation is Joint Task Force Afghanistan.)
The OMLT in Kandahar Province comprises about 200 Canadian soldiers whose duties include delivering training to ANA units, advising and sometimes supervising ANA soldiers and their commanders, and modelling the skills and attitudes they teach.
The 1st Brigade, 205th Corps ANA consists of five kandaks (a unit like a battalion of infantry, with about 600 men) and a headquarters, for a total of about 3,000 men. When the kandaks are ready, the OMLT goes with them on joint operations with the Canadian battle group that is deployed with Joint Task Force Afghanistan.
The work teams that make up the OMLT are divided between Camp Hero, the 1st Brigade training base at Kandahar Airfield, and the forward operating bases set up across Kandahar Province by Joint Task Force Afghanistan.

Work with the Afghan National Police


In September 2007, the Canadian OMLT formed a sub-unit to work with the Afghan National Police (ANP). Called the Police OMLT or POMLT (“pomlette”), this temporary group was formed in cooperation with Afghan government authorities, the ANP, and Joint Task Force Afghanistan.
The POMLT has a mandate to develop the professionalism and autonomy of the ANP by providing training and mentoring services and expert advice, and by facilitating liaison between the ANP and the ANA and ISAF. This professional development initiative is expected to help the ANP in Kandahar Province increase its capabilities and extend the legitimacy and authority of the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Currently, the POMLT’s work teams are made up of soldiers from combat arms units and the military police. These multidisciplinary teams work with ANP units serving at police substations across Kandahar Province.
Further information

For more information on co-operation between ISAF and the Afghan national security forces, check out the following links:



FACT SHEET
OPERATIONAL MENTOR AND LIAISON TEAM (OMLT) PROGRAMME – MARCH 2009

• The Operational Mentor and Liaison Team (OMLT) programme is a key NATO-ISAF contribution towards the development of the Afghan National Army (ANA).
• OMLTs’ provide training and mentoring to the ANA forces. They also serve as a liaison capability between ANA and ISAF forces, co-ordinating the planning of operations and ensuring that the ANA units receive necessary enabling support (including close air support, casualty evacuation and medical evacuation).
• OMLTs are composed of 13-20 personnel (depending on the ANA unit it is partnered with) from one or several countries. Each OMLT is normally deployed for a minimal period of six months.
• There are currently 52 OMLTs operating in all five regions of Afghanistan. While OMLTs earmarked for ANA Corps HQs and Garrisons do not deploy from their assigned locations, Brigade and Kandak OMLTs deploy with their ANA partner units1 across the country.
• The NATO-ISAF OMLT programme works in complementarity with the US-led Embedded Training Teams (ETT), which perform similar duties.
• Under OMLT mentorship, ANA units capabilities are increasing steadily. Today, 13 Kandaks and 3 HQs have reached the highest standard - Capability Milestone 1 (CM1) -assessed to be fully capable of conducting independent operations at battalion level.
• In September 2008, the Joint Coordination Monitoring Board (JCMB) decided to authorize expansion of the ANA from 80,000 to 122,000 force level (+ 12,000 training pool and transient personnel). This will increase OMLT requirements from 62 to 84 by December 2010.
• Twenty-seven nations have contributed or have pledged to contribute to the OMLT programme: Albania, Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia,, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia2, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
 
0

08steeda

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Amazing! I thought SF would be all over that kind of gig!?!

Wow!...just WOW!
 

0699

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An E-4 and an E-3 are the front line in making the locals an effective fighting force?

Two thoughts...

This is what we did in Vietnam with the CAP program; a USMC infantry squad married up with a local infantry platoon/militia platoon.

I would put today's young NCOs up against any NCOs in American history.
 

jds

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While ETT/PMT and all the other Transition Teams are new in name, the use of Combat Advisers from the conventional force is not.
It has nothing to do with professional jealousy, but filling a need that has to be filled.
By most accounts they've done a respectable job.:2c:
 

surgicalcric

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Two thoughts...

This is what we did in Vietnam with the CAP program; a USMC infantry squad married up with a local infantry platoon/militia platoon.

I would put today's young NCOs up against any NCOs in American history.

While ETT/PMT and all the other Transition Teams are new in name, the use of Combat Advisers from the conventional force is not.
It has nothing to do with professional jealousy, but filling a need that has to be filled.
By most accounts they've done a respectable job.:2c:

The issue here isnt whether Marines can do it, or the PTT/MTT/ETT's, though I have my own ideas about there effectiveness and it isnt flattering; its about 2 young (relative) guys mentoring a sizable force and their ability, experience, and capabilities to do so.

I am with FF on this. I wouldnt care where these guys came from, including two newly tabbed E-5's from SF. I think its a bad idea.
 

jds

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The thread wandered in another direction, so I offered my 2 cents.

As to the original issue. I probably would agree an E-4 and an E-3 as mentors does not give me a warm fuzzy feeling however, that doesn't mean it won't work. I don't have enough info to render an opinion.
 

AWP

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In my original post I should have been a bit more clear. My apologies.

I would think an E-6/ E-7/ E-8 would be in a much better position to train the locals than two junior enlisted. I'm aware of the CAP platoons/ squads in Vietnam, but were they led by an E-4?
 

Teufel

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I have never heard of a two Marine mentor force. There is more to the story than meets the eye. He is a five year corporal by the way and would be a squad leader in the fleet so he is not as junior as it may appear.
 

jds

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I'm thinking there's more to the story also.
Maybe they were wise beyond years:p

But on the surface I agree with you FF, two junior enlisted running amuck is probably not the best idea.
 
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