More than 200 future advisors and staff members of the allied mission in Afghanistan are ready to deploy. They have just completed the first 2017 Resolute Support training conducted by the Joint Force Training Centre in Bydgoszcz. The closing ceremony was held on 2 February.
“The whole JFTC staff was committed to offer you the best possible training” – said Major General Wilhelm Grün, the Centre’s Commander, stressing the high value of pre-deployment preparation process. He also thanked the participants for their devotion during the past two weeks.
The Resolute Support training aimed at preparing soldiers for their roles in both executing and supporting the main effort of the mission – training, assisting and advising Afghan counterparts. The event program consisted of two phases. The first focused on delivering information and knowledge on key aspects of the mission, operational environment and on respective positions, roles, functions and responsibilities the soldiers were going to take over in Afghanistan. Phase two allowed for putting theory into practice - with emphasis on processes and procedures within respective headquarters.
“During the recent days, you got a picture of your future tasks in Afghanistan. This was done as realistic as possible under given conditions” - said Lieutenant General Erich Pfeffer, the Commander of the Bundeswehr Joint Forces Operations Command. He arrived in Bydgoszcz to address the soldiers before their deployment. “I am convinced that you are well prepared to quickly orientate yourself, when you get boots on the ground in Mazar-e-Sharif within the next few weeks or months.”
The trainees were supported by more than 200 trainers and Subject Matter Experts (SME). The group consisted of JFTC members, representatives of various NATO units and agencies, representatives of NGOs but most of all soldiers with relevant theatre experience from Afghanistan, who provided the up-to-date knowledge and information on the Resolute Support mission and Afghanistan. Lieutenant General Fernando Alejandre, the Deputy Commander of the Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum, who also met with the trainees, highlighted the utmost importance of SMEs’s assistance: “The Subject Matter Experts provided you with the latest information available and now you are well prepared”. Nevertheless, he encouraged the participants “to keep an eye on events in Afghanistan” as the country is a very dynamic place.
The need for self-education was also stressed by Lieutenant General Sandy Storrie, the Deputy Commander of the Resolute Support Headquarters. In his address not only did he provide the audience with key information on the situation in Afghanistan and the mission itself, but he also gave some personal advice on how to prepare for the deployment.
As for many soldiers the training in Bydgoszcz was the first occasion to meet with their future partners, it also created a perfect opportunity for team building. And good teams are essential for success of the mission. “You should understand yourself as a ‘spoke in the wheel’ – said General Pfeffer. “Only when you really learn to know each other by heart, when you know your own and your buddies’ strength, capabilities and limitations, will you be the team the Commander can rely on.”