The Bayonet

Wednesday, Dec. 04, 2013

NATO plans Afghan mission change to train, advise, assist

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GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — At the end of 2014, the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan is scheduled to end, and a new train, advise and assist mission called Resolute Support begins.

During Europe’s recent combat training conference, the top brass of more than 35 nations outlined a way ahead to prepare for the transition that involves combined and joint training provided by the Joint Multinational Training Command here.

“There was a lot of discussion about the coming ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) and NATO operational transition in Afghanistan,” said Col. Thomas S. Matsel, the chief of operations at the JMTC.

“NATO is going to transition” from its ISAF operations centered in Afghanistan to a force that is prepared to respond across the full spectrum of conflict, Matsel said.

Since JMTC’s training events regularly include multinational participation, the discussion is different at other Army combat training centers, Matsel said.

“They are mainly concerned with Title 10 training (training for U.S. troops). Their focus is on U.S.-based Army units and their ability to conduct combat or contingency operations,” he said. “We have that responsibility with our Title 10 forces also, but JMTC, the training command for the U.S. Army Europe also has the task to make sure U.S. Army units are well integrated with our NATO and multinational partners and the place where that happens, and is tested, is here in Europe during our multinational training and exercises.”

Simultaneously, at the Hohenfels Training Area in Germany, the exercise Combined Resolve brought U.S. forces and those of Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Norway, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, and Sweden together to challenge systems and develop understanding and trust.

“The training is exactly in harmony with what we want to attain in the whole of NATO. After years of training concentrated on Afghanistan, we again want to pay attention to the training of fundamental military activities,” said Petr Pavel, the Czech Republic’s chief of staff.

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