On July 31, 2012 at Manor High School the 36th Infantry Division, Texas Army National Guard, will say goodbye and good luck to approximately 400 Texas-based soldiers as they deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The unit will deploy as Task Force Arrowhead, but once in Afghanistan will be broken up into multiple 12-person Security Force Assistance Teams. The SFAT teams will focus on advising, training and assisting the Afghan security forces by helping them improve their logistics, maintenance, administration, rule of law and training capabilities. Unlike a traditional military unit, SFAT teams are comprised of senior officers and non-commissioned officers, chosen for their expertise and specific skill sets.
The SFAT team model was first introduced by the Army early this year as part of a larger strategy to meet mission requirements in Afghanistan. As the US military transitions from combat operations to advising and assisting the Afghan forces, the smaller SFAT teams will take the place of many traditional combat brigades designed for war fighting.