I had the honor and pleasure of spending time with the members of the 40th Infantry Division of the California National Guard and their employers while serving as an Outreach Advocate for the DOD Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve program.
The Division will be sending a contingent to Kandahar province in Afghanistan to bolster Operation Resolute Support and the training mission there. (see: http://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/topics_52060.htm?selectedLocale=en; which is a photo source).
The Divisions G3 who will function as the CJ3 once deployed gave an unclassified briefing about the Division’s mission. Essentially they are supporting the training efforts for the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP).
Of necessity division personnel will be going ‘out of the wire’ to help facilitate and conduct training. I have no personal knowledge of the Force make-up over there, however, I do know that there is no organic MISO in the National Guard and I’m pretty sure that USAR and active MISO do not train with them on a regular basis.
This is a mistake. MISO Tactical Teams are specially trained to work with the local population and help form positive opinions in support of deployed forces. They are also able to work with local media (if there are any) to help them understand the nature of the local population.
While MISO and Civil Affairs personnel are not intelligence collectors, they are knowledgeable observers who can provide meaningful and insightful information to intelligence and operations personnel.
As the OpTempo continues to ramp up, consideration should be given to augmenting units who go out of the wire with MISO personnel. Perhaps the best way to start is by joint training opportunities in CONUS and overseas.
(Other photos are from the author.)