Task Force Southeast advisors from 3rd Squadron, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade pose for a photo alongside their partners from the Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade, 203rd Corps in front of the Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS), in Logar Province, Afghanistan. The advisors helped their Afghan partners troubleshoot a problem with the PTDS information feed. Once corrected, the Afghans, for the first time, used the surveillance system and their own quick reaction force to capture five improvised explosive device (IED) makers and a cache of bomb-making equipment, June 13. (U.S. Army photo by 3rd Squadron, 1st SFAB)
By: U.S. Army Maj. Matt Fontaine, Task Force Southeast Public Affairs
CAMP DAHLKE, Afghanistan – The Afghan National Army’s 4th Brigade, 203rd Corps captured five improvised explosive device (IED) makers and a cache of bomb-making, in Logar Province, June 13.
The successful operation began when the 4th Brigade’s intelligence section used its own Persistent Threat Detection System (PTDS) to spot five insurgents emplacing three IEDs stopping a targeted attack at a school used as a voter registration center.
"We have the tools and motivation to fight the Taliban and force them to make peace. Thanks to our American partners we can use our own tools like the PTDS to find and arrest the enemy outside our gates,” said Afghan National Army Brig. Gen. Abdul Raziq, 4th Brigade, 203rd Corps commander. "I’m very proud of my soldiers and how quickly they learn to use their new tools to defend Afghanistan.”
Persistent Threat Detection System is a tethered blimp that carries surveillance systems used for local area security.
The brigade’s tactical operations center continued to track the insurgents with the real-time information from the Persistent Threat Detection System and dispatched their quick-reaction force to the insurgents’ location, guiding them with regular updates over tactical radios.
Afghan soldiers found and apprehended the insurgents without any casualties or injuries. They confiscated explosives, cell phones, motorcycles and other bomb-making tools.
"They are learning every single day," said U.S. Army Col. Scott Jackson, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade commander, during a recent Pentagon press conference. "When we leave, our partners will be more technically and tactically capable, more offensive-minded, more self-sustaining, and deserving of the trust of the Afghan people."
A few weeks earlier, U.S. Army advisors from 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, assigned to NATO-led Resolute Support Task Force Southeast, advised the 4th Brigade, helping them solve their own a problem with the Persistent Threat Detection System’s information feed.
"Our partners are incredibly resourceful and motivated to fulfill their duty to secure Afghanistan,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ian Palmer, 3rd Squadron, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade commander and advisor to Raziq. "In many cases they have solid intelligence collection systems, however a little technical assistance from our advisors resulted in a big payoff and a win on the battlefield. When they win, we win."
After the fix, the Afghan soldiers were able to observe the suspected insurgents from their own operations center without needing advising assistance.
1st Security Force Assistance Brigade deployed to Afghanistan in March and provides the Resolute Support Commander with approximately 800 conventional warfare experts to train, advise, assist, accompany and enable Afghan National Security Forces at every echelon of command, from battalion to corps.
The U.S. Army will build six Security Force Assistance Brigades to meet the enduring need to advise foreign conventional security force partners anywhere in the world. The 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade’s deployment to Afghanistan is the first operational employment of an Security Force Assistance Brigade.
Established in 2015, Resolute Support (RS) is a NATO-led, non-combat mission to train, advise and assist the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), who assumed nationwide responsibility for Afghanistan’s security following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission. Its purpose is to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the capacity to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens in a sustainable manner.