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Afghan Female
Tactical Platoon (FTP)

Ktah Khas Female Tactical Platoon (FTP)

Female Tactical Platoon members prepare to search a compound during a training exercise. The Female Tactical Platoon supports Afghan Special Security Forces during counterterrorism operations, specializing in the search, questioning and medical assistance of women and children. (NATO photo by Martha Schaeffer, NSOCC-A)

The Afghan Female Tactical Platoon or FTP was a small unit of Afghan women who worked with U.S. special operations forces (SOF) in Afghanistan. The FTP was part of the Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF). The women in the FTP were recruited from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, or the general population.

One of their primary tasks was the search, questioning, and medical assistance of women and children - in a way that was respectful of Islam and Afghan culture. These women assumed the same risks and dangers as their male counterparts.

The members of the FTP served across Afghanistan during 15 week-long deployment cycles. For much of the time that the FTP existed the women operated in 6-woman teams. While not on deployment, they are on two-week leave or training in 12 essential training tasks during their predeployment training prior to upcoming missions.

Recruitment. Recruiting for the FTPs was similar to recruiting for other elite, specialized units. Additional training and vetting was required. The women are expected to be literate and to be able to work in demanding, dangerous, and austere environments.

Training. The members of the FTP underwent training similar to the training that U.S. Army's Cultural Support Team members experienced. They were trained in physical fitness, weapons firing, IEDs, land navigation, and medical subjects. In addition, they took part in periodic tactical training exercises.

Taliban Rule. After the fall of the Afghan government and the taking of power by the Taliban, many of the FTP soldiers found themselves hunted by the Taliban. Some have managed to escape to the United States (over 40) and other countries. However, many still remain in Afghanistan - their lives in constant danger. For the ones that made it to the United States . . . there is the constant concern of their immigration status and the future; as well as the worry of colleagues and family they left behind.

References & Resources about the FTP

Sisters of Service
A sisterhood of American female veterans, former members of US Cultural Support Teams (CSTs), helping to resettle and empower the Afghan women who fought by their sides.

PENFED Foundation
Afghan Rescue and Resettlement Program (ARRP)
The ARRP is a program focused on resettling Afghan women and their families who worked alongside U.S. Army female soldiers through the Army's Cultural Support Team (CST).

News Stories about FTP

January 17, 2024, "This Afghan female fighter fought with US troops. Now, she's adjusting to life in the US", The World.

September 8, 2023, "Former Afghan soldiers, now living in Blacksburg, to share their stories", Virginia Tech News. They were among the more than 40 Female Tactical Platoon members who are scattered across the United States. Seven have settled in Blacksburg.

August 28, 2023, "Stranger Becomes Neighor: Afghan soldier navigates new life in Utah with help from afar", by Andrea Smardon, Deseret News. With the support of the community, a female Afghan soldier enrolled her son in day care, got her driver's permit, and started a job working part time as a cashier at Walmart.

April 27, 2023, "Afghan Women Who Fought With U.S. Miltary Seek Legal Immigration Status", The New York Times. (subscription)

April 9, 2023, "Female Afghan veterans work toward fresh start in Virginia", Military Times. Heather Rousseau writes about members of the FTP who are starting new lives in the United States.

November 24, 2022, "How covert teams of female US and Afghan soldiers opened the door for women in combat", Fox News. Afghan and American female soldiers gathered critical intelligence in unprecedented roles that changed the future of women in combat.

October 14, 2022, "Secret Female Afghan Commando Wants to Fight in MMA", Voice of America.

May 20, 2022, "Service Members Aid Afghan Women They Fought Alongside", LAW360.

April 8, 2022, "The Untold Story of the Afghan Women Who Hunted the Taliban", Politico Magazine.

March 26, 2016, "Women in Special Forces: What the US Can Learn From the Afghans", Defense News.








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