Page 90 - The Chapka 2016
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 Deputy Chief CJ33 NATO Operation Resolute Support
Operation Resolute Support (Known to the UK as our OP TORAL) is the NATO mission to Train, Advise Assist and support (TAA) the Afghan Army in its growth and development to defend the country against its enemies, principally the Tali- ban but now also ISIL(K), from inside and outside its borders. The mission is nested closely but formally discrete from Opera- tion Freedom Sentinel, the US Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) mission which has more robust rules of engagement and a more offensive spirit. The UK components of the mission are broadly made up of the Afghan National Officers Academy (ANOA), the Kabul Security Force (KSF), an SF deployment, the Tactical Air Detachment, some NSE elements and several key appointments in staff at ‘HQ RS’, ranging from the 3* Deputy Commander, Lieutenant General Sandie Storrie to SO1s and below in the various ‘J’ or ’S’ branches. A significant focus is SOF operations with Special Operations Kandaks - the Commandos - being ex- tremely busy working to restore the balance across the country.
After conducting my training at MTMC(I) and at various ‘Key leader Training’ events at NATO locations, I arrived in a cold, sleeting Kabul to find out what J33 was (even the Belgian train- ing staff had been suitably vague). ‘The operational bit of opera- tions’, apparently. In short, I lead a small team working to the CJ3, an Australian Brigadier, managing current operations, ef- fectively at Corps level, and also running crisis operations when the operational situation dictates. Sangin, now shell shattered and devoid of civilians, ‘kicked-off ’ in my first week like a bad staff college exercise, compounded as I found my way round new faces and, U.S and SOF operational language. Wider Hel- mand has of course remained a point of focus, but ISIL activi- ties nearer to the borders have also kept us busy. My role also requires me to conduct duties as the leader of the Joint Casualty Assessment Team (JCAT). This means that when any shooting such as a ‘green on blue’ occurs, I take a small team of force pro- tection and intelligence exploitation specialists to the site to as- sess the situation and ensure short and longer term security is
maintained. This can be quite demanding as inevitably there has been a death or wounding, atmospherics are tense and the Af- ghan Army may be reluctant to take our advice on future actions.
On a lighter note the small British Community here, where pos- sible, have dinner together once a week to hear English spoken, a gunner colleague has bought an entire tea set and entertains the Americans to afternoon tea, and the blast proof accommoda- tion is clean, safe and a world away from the living conditions we experienced in Helmand. If the opportunity presents itself, I would highly recommend a tour in RS, where the authority and responsibility offered to a British officer is huge and the wealth of experienced gained considerable.
   Warrior Pose – Lieutenant Colonel Lyle at Kandahar Airbase

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