April 3, 2018 (by SSgt. Divine Cox) - The C-130J Super Hercules of the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron transported NATO Resolute Support Expeditionary Advisory Package personnel and supplies in mid-March to Mainanah, Faryab Province, Afghanistan.
USAF C-130J-30 #14-5788 from 61 AS takes off from Bagram Airfield, on April 1, 2018. The C-130J Super Hercules of the 774th EAS transported NATO Resolute Support Expeditionary Advisory Package personnel and supplies in mid-March to Mainanah, Faryab Province, Afghanistan. [USAF photo by SSgt. Divine Cox]
The EAP, made up of international military advisors assigned to RS Train, Advise, Assist Command-North, forward deployed to join the Afghan National Army 209th Corps, 1st Brigade.
According to a RS release, the advising teams provided assistance in coordinating operations against insurgents in the region.
The basic construct entails mobilizing the NATO force to a region at an interim base to facilitate the TAA mission. This can include multiple nations and various service components throughout the area of responsibility.
The TAACs have the ability to provide a tailorable capability and quickly deploy that capability throughout the country for any length of time.
“The 774th EAS enables the rapid mobility of the [EAP] ground force,” said Capt. John Cordell, 774th EAS tactics chief. “EAPs need to stand up at various locations to work direct with the tactical level units spread across the country. The versatility of the C-130 is uniquely tailored to this rapid infiltration and exfiltration of coalition forces because it enables us to travel to any runway across the country.
“Moving the coalition forces across a ground line of communication is not only slow but unnecessarily exposes our forces to a threat for a longer period of time. Facilitating a rapid air movement enables the EAP to stand up faster and maximize their mission set with the host nation forces.”
The EAP was initially designed to conduct the TAA mission from a centralized location in Kabul sending the EAPs out to specific areas as needed. In time, EAPs were pushed from Kabul to other areas to perform functionally-based advising or to respond to strategic emergency situations.
The Maimanah EAP comes at the time of year considered to be the beginning of the fighting season.
According to RS, “The ANA [is putting] increasing military pressure on the Taliban and terrorists seeking to destabilize the country.”
Cordell stated that the benefit of the EAPs mission set and the C-130J airlift capabilities ensures Resolute Support has the appropriate level of assets and planning necessary to make sure the advisory package is as effective as possible. With the current level of forces in country, it also enables coalition forces to have an effect on any region of the country.
“Our mission set at Bagram is to defend, support and deliver airpower,” said Cordell. “With an EAP, we support the coalition mission set and deliver decisive airpower whenever needed. This requires a high level of integration not only across Mobility Air Forces, Combat Air Forces and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Forces but also with Army Combat Aviation Brigades and Companies of Army Infantrymen. The effects we are able to deliver as an EAP ensure we not only bring the fight to the enemy but mentor and empower the host nation forces to lead the offensive. The EAPs is truly a joint effort.”