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5 Functional Pillars 

In 2013 the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) decided to shift the advisory mission in Afghanistan from one of combat-focused unit-based advising to one of advising along functional areas and many echelons of command. Five functional areas were identified and are now referred to as the "5 Functional Pillars".

Leadership. The ability of the commander and subordinate leaders (including staff primaries) to demonstrate a mastery of their functional area; and provide purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish all assigned tasks and missions while being accountable for their actions and responsibilities. Learn more about leadership in the ANDSF.

Combined Arms Operations. The ability to field and integrate new systems and develop the capability to bring all available forces, assets, and enabler systems to bear effectively.

Command and Control. The exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over all assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of a mission.

Personnel and Training. The ability to conduct individual and collective mission-focused training, institutional training, and to assess and maintain proficiency on all critical tasks.

Sustainment. The ability to sustain training and operational missions independently. Learn more about sustainment in the ANDSF.


The above definitions of the five functional pillars of Security Force Assistance are taken from Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan, DoD 1225 Report, December 2015, page 14.


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