Security Force Assistance
Engineer Advisor



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Afghan War News > SFA > SFA Engineer in Afghanistan

Security Force Assistance
Engineer Advisor in Afghanistan

Some Military Advisor Teams (MATs) have Engineers to provide advice and assistance to the ANA. Usually these positions are found on the MATs (or SFAATs) working at the ANA brigade or corps level. In addition, there are Engineer advisory teams working with the Corps Engineer Kandaks (CEKs). As ISAF withdraws its forces over the remainder of 2013 and into 2014 the numbers of advisors will diminish significantly. ISAF is now going to the functional SFA model where the small number of advisors are placed in positions that will affect critical nodes and processes of the ANSF. It remains to be seen where future engineer advisors will be working at in this functional SFA model.

Corps Engineer Kandaks. The newly formed and just now deploying Corps Engineer Kandaks or CEKs are provided initial training in the Kabul area. The Program of Instruction covers home station training and follow-on training. The training encompasses vertical and horizontal construction. 1.  The vertical training includes carpentry, masonry and concrete finishing, plumbing, and electrical. The horizontal training includes road development and repair, barrier protection, trench and berm production and more.

Garrison Support Units (GSUs). Each brigade in the ANA is usually co-located with a GSU. Unfortunately the skill level of many of the personnel in the GSUs is very low due to lack of training, experience, and a high rate of illiteracy. Engineer advisors are conducting specialty courses for members of the GSUs to improve the ANA's capability of maintaining their own facilities. 2.

ANA Generator Repair and Maintenance Class
ANA facility engineers with the Garrison Support Unit, 4th Infantry Brigade,
203rd Corps take part in generator repair and maintenance training at
Camp Maiwand, Logar province in August 2013.  (Photo by SSG Elvis Umanzor)

Combat Support Kandak (CSK).
The CSK, numbered as the 4th kandak in an ANA brigade provides an engineering capability in the form of its engineer company. Learn more about the Combat Support Kandak.

National Engineer Brigade (NEB). This newly formed unit (Fall 2013) is based at Camp Ghazi, Kabul, Afghanistan. The Afghan National Engineer Brigade performs complex engineering tasks such as bridging and well drilling for the fielded ANA forces. The NEB is advised by an Engineer Brigade Advise and Assist Team or EBAAT. 3.

Publications Relevant to Engineer Advisors

Ware, LTC. "Developing a Trained and Ready Security Force Assistance Advisor Team", Engineer, pages 58-60, January-April 2013. Author is the commander of the 30th Engineer Battalion at Fort Bragg, NC.

Neely, Ryan and Kevin Lawhon. " A Partnership Forged in Hell", Small Wars Journal, January 29, 2014. The story of the 738th Engineer Support Company conducting mobility operations and Security Force Assistance in the Devil's Elbow, Afghanistan.

Videos about ANA Engineers

U.S. and Afghan Forces Prepare for Operation Resolute Support, video about the National Engineer Brigade (NEB), narrated by Gail McCabe, DoD News, November 5, 2014.

News Relevant to Engineer Advisors

October 28, 2014. "Helping Hands: Reserve Seabees Prepare Afghan Engineers for the Future". DVIDS. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Two Five (NMCB 25) trains, advises, and assists (TAA) the Afghan National Engineer Brigade (NEB).

July 12, 2013. "Triple Nickel trains new era of Afghan engineers". DVIDS.

July 9, 2013. "SFAAT 4 supports ANA engineer development". DVIDS. the 203rd ANA Engineer Kandak is advised and assisted by the 859th Engineer Company of Pascagoula, Miss and SFAAT 4 (4th BCT, 101st Airborne) on FOB Thunder.

June 12, 2013. "Security Force Assistance ends for Afghan Army tolais in Helmand province; engineer tolai stands on their own". II Marine Expeditionary Force.

May 30, 2013. "Facility Engineer School graduates ready to maintain and sustain". NTM-A. Article about 16-week course on maintenance and repairs of infrastructure.

May 16, 2013. "Afghan Army engineers quickly learn construction skills, finish tactical operations center unassisted". DVIDS.

April 7, 2013. "Building success: ANA engineer Kandak completes independent construction project", DVIDS. Engineer Tolai of 4th Kandak, 2nd Brigade, 203rd ANA completes project on FOB Super FOB.



1. For the initial training that the Corps Engineer Kandak (CEK) undergoes see "RFI for Construction Training", FedBizOps, April 2013 here.

2. See the following story to learn more about specialty courses offered by the coalition to train up the GSU personnel; "ANA engineers learn to sustain generators, facilities", DVIDS, August 25, 2013.

3. For more on the NEB and EBAAT see "ANA engineer capability grows as National Engineer Brigade lays out footprint", DVIDS, December 28, 2013 available here.


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Afghan War News > SFA > SFA Engineer Advisor