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Afghan National Army forward observer training

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The 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Armor Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, based out of Fort Stewart, Ga., was a typical cavalry regiment, until they received orders to deploy to Afghanistan. At that time they were informed they would be deploying as security force assistance teams, and would be separated across the entire battle space of Zabul province, Afghanistan and responsible for training and mentoring the Afghan National Army in their area of operations.

The most recent training conducted by the Mobile Strike Force SFAT, Jan. 5-10, at Forward Operating Base Eagle, Zabul province, Afghanistan, was artillery observer training led by 2nd Lt. Anthony Storey, a fire support officer assigned to B Company, and a Jacksonville, Fla., Native. The MSF-SFAT is responsible for training the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Kandak Mobile Strike Force. This course of instruction included hands-on training for 20 soldiers and included classes in land navigation, map reading, Global Positioning System usage and basic indirect fire observation training. The culmination to the course included students using the Mobile Call for Fire Trainer in order to reinforce the training they received with a hands-on practical exercise requiring a basic understanding of observing and adjusting fires.

A few soldiers from the 2/2 Kandak MSF performed exceptionally well during this training and were able to serve as additional trainers to facilitate the training of their peers, said 2nd Lt. Storey.

“I believe that the soldiers are grasping the material at an impressive rate, to the point that they are able to teach others the information learned,” 2nd Lt. Storey also added. “I think the training was very successful, in that it accomplished everything we had intended it to.”

The MSF-SFAT has been working with these soldiers since they have arrived at FOB Apache, Zabul province, Afghanistan, and will continue to train, work with and place them in the lead of operations. This will give the 2/2 Kandak MSF the confidence and capabilities required to continue operations as the International Security Assistance Force begins to drawdown in 2014.

Article by 1st Lt. Vanessa Macekura,1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division