Provincial reconstruction teams training for Afghanistan
By Senior Airman Cassandra Locke, 43rd Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 03, 2006
FORT BRAGG, N.C. (AFPN) --
Department of Defense teams created and designed to help with the reconstruction, security and governing of Afghanistan are training here before deploying for 365 days.
Twelve provincial reconstruction teams, or PRTs, have been training here since January. The PRTs are from the Air Force, Army and Navy. They will step in and help enable the authority of the central government of Afghanistan.
“The Air Force has done a magnificent job leading their teams,” said Army Col. David Boslego, 4th Brigade 78th Division commander. Six of the PRT teams are led by Air Force officers and six are led by Naval officers.
“It works well, everyone knows the mission and it’s teamwork that makes it happen.”
The colonel said the intent of training is to be able to execute the challenges in theater. The teams normally train 15 hours a day, seven days a week.
“I’m confident in their ability to perform in an austere combat environment,” Colonel Boslego said.
The teams are honing their skills in tactical training, combat training, communication skills, checkpoint set up, guarding perimeters and providing security. They are focusing on everything from the tactical to the strategic level. Since the Air Force and Navy have not had as much weapons training as the Army, there is a higher level of that training until everyone is comfortable with their weapons.
A main focus of their training is exposure to improvised explosive devices. Also, there are linguists from Afghanistan taking part in the training to help keep it as realistic and beneficial as possible.
“Learning a new language is tough, especially in 45 days, so we use down time to reinforce language training,” the colonel said.
Colonel Boslego said it’s important for the team members to be competent in the required skills, confident in their ability to perform, cohesive as a team and disciplined to do the right thing when nobody is watching.
“The team members are committed to the mission, national goals and military values,” Colonel Boslego said.
The teams are scheduled to start deploying mid-April to relieve the Army teams currently there.