SEASIDE, Calif., – Fifteen senior leaders from the 4th Infantry Division, 4th Brigade Combat Team graduated from a one-week-long special training event called the Pashto Familiarization Course for Senior-Grade Leadership, which was hosted by the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center 9 Feb.
The purpose of the course is to familiarize senior leaders with the basics of the Pashto language and the Afghan culture within an operational context.
"The goal by the end of the course is to get commanders acquainted and comfortable with the socializing aspect of dealing with Afghan leaders such as greetings and introductions,” said Mowafiq Alanazi, associate dean of the Field Support Division at DLIFLC.
With a difficult mission of managing more than 30 Security Force Assistant Teams (SFAT) and several Female Engagement Teams along the eastern border of Afghanistan, the 4th BCT has realized the importance of language and culture training.
“The language [Pashto] is so closely tied with culture, and our understanding of that culture is critically important. We as a Brigade have taken this very seriously…and have put a lot of emphasis on our language training over the last 18 months,” said Col. James Mingus, the 4th Brigade Combat Team commander.
The SFATs are designed to allow troops the flexibility to liaise and ensure the Afghan National Security Forces are communicating and operating efficiently with the coalition military.
Story and photo by
Brian Lamar, Strategic Communications