ANDSF Roadmap 2017
President Ghani’s 2017 ANDSF Roadmap is designed to seize the initiative in the fight against insurgent and terrorist forces; further professionalize the ANDSF; modify the force structure to extend security; expand governance and economic development; and compel the Taliban to seek reconciliation. In 2017 the Afghans began implementing the four year Afghan Security Roadmap to increase the fighting capabilities of the Afghan security forces, including doubling the Special Forces and growing the Air Force capabilities.
In December 2017, the MoI transferred 19,558 ABP positions to the MoD in support of the ANDSF Roadmap. ABP brigades became Afghan Border Force (ABF) brigades assigned to the different ANA corps with responsibility for the geographic area where the ABF operated. The mission of the ABF did not change and some ABP responsible for customs and border crossing security remained under MoI control. During this reporting period, the MoD worked through challenges associated with ABF logistical, administrative, and personnel support. ANA Corps administrative and logistical support systems struggled in some instances to integrate the ABF; however, these systems improved steadily over time. Property accountability proved significantly challenging as ABF standards fell far below those of the ANA. Efforts to update property books and incorporate ABF material into ANA systems continued throughout 2018.
In March 2018, eight ANCOP brigades transitioned from the MoI to the MoD becoming the Afghan National Civil Order Force (ANCOF). Adopting lessons learned from the ABF transfer, the ANCOF maintained the same geographical footprint and mission set. Similar to the ABF, each ANCOF brigade is assigned to the ANA Corps responsible for security where they are located. As with the ABF transition, logistical, administrative, and personnel support challenges proved problematic. Lessons learned from the ABF integration helped prepare ANA Corps for the transition. The role of the ANCOF may change in the future; however, in 2018, they will provide valuable assistance to the ANA as they seize the initiative and facilitate secure and credible Parliamentary elections in October 2018.
Under the ANDSF Roadmap, the SMW will also expand to provide additional 10 helicopter crews (40 total personnel), consolidate the PC-12 aircraft into a new fixed-wing kandak, and create an aviation support kandak. This growth provides the initial phase of a more modern and capable Afghan Air Force that can absorb and employ the influx of new aircraft. Ultimately, the combined future growth of the SMW and the AAF will be approximately 3,000 personnel over a four-year period.
The MoD continued to explore options to optimize the conventional ANA and improve its ability to hold key terrain and protect the population in rural areas where the Taliban seek to gain influence. Several ANA corps worked to recruit former ANA soldiers who served honorably to rejoin the ANA on one-year enlistment contracts.
On February 4, 2018, President Ghani issued a decree calling for the creation of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force to assist the ANA in its mission to focus on offensive operations while continuing to hold population centers. The ANATF is designed to be a locally recruited, nationally trained and led, affordable, and sustainable part of the ANA. ANATF units will provide security in districts with relatively permissive security environments that still require ANA presence. During this reporting period, recruiting for the first of seven ANATF companies began as part of a pilot program to test the concept. ANATF pilot companies will begin integrating into ANA kandaks later this year and, pending successful outcomes, more ANATF companies will be established in 2019. If successful, the ANATF could provide a model for an effective, affordable, and sustainable ANA in the future.
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