Infantry Drills

4-84: Security Forces Assistance

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4-84. Security force assistance is defined as—the Department of Defense activities that contribute to unified action by the United States Government to support the development of the capacity and capability of foreign security forces and their supporting institutions. (JP 3-22) Consistent with DOD policy for security force assistance, the Army develops, maintains, and institutionalizes the capabilities of its personnel to support DOD efforts to organize, train, equip, and advise foreign security forces and relevant supporting institutions.

4-85. Security forces are duly constituted military, paramilitary, police, and constabulary forces of a state. (JP 3-22) When directed to do so in accordance with appropriate legal authorities, Army forces conduct security force assistance activities in support of combatant commanders’ campaign plans and national objectives.

4-86. Military personnel should avoid confusing security force assistance and security assistance. Security assistance is a set of programs, authorized by law, that allow the United States to transfer defense articles, training, and services to partner nations. Security force assistance often works in conjunction with security assistance programs, but the focus of security force assistance is on building of the capacity and capability of foreign security forces and their supporting institutions. Security force assistance encompasses various activities related to the organizing, training, advising, equipping, and assessing of foreign security forces and their supporting institutions, from tactical to ministerial levels.

4-87. These activities contribute to unified action to generate, employ, and sustain foreign security forces. Foreign security forces are forces, including but not limited to, military, paramilitary, police, and intelligence forces; border police, coast guard, and customs officials; and prison guards and correctional personnel, that provide security for a host nation and its relevant population or support a regional security organization’s mission. (FM 3-22) Security force assistance activities are conducted primarily to assist host nations build the capacity to defend against internal, external, and transnational threats to stability. However, DOD may also conduct security force assistance to assist host nations to defend
against external threats; contribute to multinational operations; or organize, train, equip, and advise a nation’s security forces or supporting institutions.

4-88. It is DOD policy that security force assistance is a subset of DOD overall security cooperation initiatives and that security force assistance activities directly increase the capacity or capability of foreign security forces or their supporting institutions. Security force assistance consists of those security cooperation activities tied directly to the security capability and capacity of foreign security forces. Security assistance programs, with their associated resources and authorities, can provide a means to conduct some security force
assistance tasks.

4-89. Other forms of security force assistance—specifically, advising in a hostile
environment and other activities geared toward assisting a partner nation engaged in conflict—are performed by U.S. forces using resources and authorities specially provided to DOD for employment in support of combat operations. Global train-and-equip funding to support the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan is a good example. (Refer to FM 3-22 for more information.)

Note. Soldiers should be trained and would benefit the unit if they receive training on cultural, local customs, and courtesies.

Next: 4-90: Civil Affairs Operations

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad