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News > NATO Training Mission: Afghanistan Comes to JB MDL
NATO Training Mission: Afghanistan Comes to JB MDL

Posted 3/25/2011   Updated 3/24/2011 Email story   Print story


by Capt. Antonia Greene
174th Infantry Brigade Public Affairs

3/25/2011 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- With the arrival of Class I of Task Force Scorpion Mar. 20 and more classes following soon, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is the new home of the NATO Training Mission - Afghanistan.

Task Force Scorpion is the first iteration of Reserve Component forces deploying in support of NTM-A. Until mid-February, TF Scorpion was slated to train at Fort Polk, La. but now the NTM-A is also the responsibility of First Army Division East. Both the 174th Infantry Brigade and its mission planning partner, the 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, are the U.S. Forces Command lead training support team.

Over the course of the next few months, the more than 200 Reserve Component Soldiers assigned to TF Scorpion will undergo extensive Soldier and leader training in order to meet mission requirements down range.

"The combat advisor skills and leader mentality must be honed here, enabling the Soldiers to provide the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police the essential tools to succeed," explained Army Maj. Scott Page, 72d FA Bde Plans Officer.

The transition of the mission to JB MDL allows for 162nd Infantry Brigade trainers from the Joint Readiness Training Center to share valuable lessons learned, training side-by-side with the 174th Inf Bde trainer mentors.

The TF Soldiers will hone his skills in an advisory capacity. Specifically, the training received at JB MDL will equip the team with advanced communication tools, solidifying their roles as effective and resourceful trainer mentors. Extensive Afghan cultural awareness and Pashtu language instruction is a large part of the mission-specific training. In addition, all Soldiers will become combat lifesaver certified, receive foreign weapons instruction and undergo advanced secure communications training. The TF Scorpion mission-specific training package focuses on combat advisor and mentorship skills integration.

""We are looking forward to helping train the Afghan Security Forces; we have a very talented group of trainers and anticipate some great training here at ASA-Dix," emphasized Army Col. Paul Wegman, commander, TF Scorpion.

TF Scorpion is tasked with training Afghan trainers and instructors and moreover, growing leaders capable of sustaining self-sufficient national security programs and institutions in Afghanistan. The priority goals set by NTM-A and its coalition partners include growing the "train-the-trainer" system down range and accelerating leader development of the Afghan National Security Forces, strengthening literacy and vocational skills within the ranks.

Soldiers from New York's 4th Brigade, 98th Division, 108th Training Command make up the majority of the Task Force. The 200th Military Police Command headquartered at Fort. George G. Meade, Md. and the 644th Regional Support Group out of Fort Snelling, Minn. also contributed significant numbers of troops.

The NTM-A motto is "Team-Transparency-Transition." Team stresses the importance of sincere and dependable relationships among the Afghan leaders, civilians and Coalition. Transparency symbolizes the open and honest communication and professionalism. Transition ensures a timely and responsible shift of resourcing and ownership to solely our Afghan partners. To learn more about the mission, the official NTM-A website,, provides additional information along with feature spots on Afghanis and news of the collective progress.

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