WASHINGTON (Army News Service, May 7, 2009) — The Army released a new field manual this week providing guidance on training security forces of other nations, FM 3-07.1 “Security Force Assistance.”
“Security Force Assistance is no longer an ‘additional duty,'” wrote Gen. Martin E. Dempsey in the field manual’s foreward. “It is now a core competency of our Army.”
Dempsey now serves as commander of the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, which published the field manual. From August 2005 until the summer of 2007, he served as commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command – Iraq, responsible for recruiting, training, and equipping the Iraqi Security Forces.
“We have military cooperation agreements with more than 125 nations around the world and often provide security force assistance in response to host nation requests,” Dempsey wrote in a blog to the force this week.
He explained that security force assistance is delivered under control of a U.S Embassy Country Team, and is accomplished by a mixture of assigned military and civilian personnel, contractors, and mobile training teams. These mobile training teams can either come from the general-purpose forces or Special Forces, he said.
“It’s important to note that Security Force Assistance occurs under a variety of conditions, and it is the conditions that will determine how and with what organizations we use to accomplish the mission,” Dempsey said.
The new field manual captures in doctrine the Army’s many years of experience in building partner security forces, Dempsey said. He further explained that Security Force Assistance is a derivative of the broader mission of Stability Operations, which is covered in FM 3-07, released in October.
In conditions of active conflict — as in Iraq and Afghanistan — Dempsey points out that tactical commanders will have a security force assistance mission to train, advise, and assist host-nation forces.
The field manual provides several chapters on how brigade combat teams can provide security force assistance. Chapters 2-6 provide a framework for BCTs involved in this mission, including recommendations for augmenting modular brigades for security force assistance.
Chapters 7-10 of the field manual focus on individual advisors, and include discussing cultural and communications considerations.
Under Dempsey’s command, MNSTC-I advisors formed Coalition Military Assistance Training Teams, know as CMATTs, who helped stand up Iraqi Army units. MNSTC-I was also responsible for the Civilian Police Assistance Training Team Teams, or CPATTs, and the Coalition Air Force Training Teams, CAFTTs.
“Clearly, the future operational environment will require us to demonstrate as much versatility in Stability Operations as we have in Offense and Defense Operations,” Dempsey said.
“Conducting foreign security assistance requires great skill in building relationships and ‘leading from behind,'” he said. “We must all increase our understanding of this important mission.”