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SOLDIER-GEOLOGIST HYBRID: PART OF AN INNOVATIVE U.S. ARMY COUNTERINSURGENCY ...

AJFitzpatrick

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This might of interest to some

From Geological Society of America Annual Meeting: Paper 255-3


SOLDIER-GEOLOGIST HYBRID: PART OF AN INNOVATIVE U.S. ARMY COUNTERINSURGENCY METHOD IN AFGHANISTAN
STEWART, Alexander K., Department of Geology, St. Lawrence University --email removed--
In the spring of 2008 the National Guard Bureau, in conjunction with the U.S. Army, developed and began employing a new counterinsurgency tool in Afghanistan – Agriculture Development Teams (ADT). These specialized U.S. Army teams comprise 12 hand-selected, civilian-soldier experts in the Agribusiness field; supported by an organic security team and a headquarters element. As an egalitarian team, these civilian-soldier experts work directly with both regional and local Afghanistan government officials and farmers to support their agricultural needs. They provide agriculture-related education, training and sustainable projects, which are US funded and locally run.

The role of a geologist in these teams varies depending on the unit’s deployed location and their commander’s intent. For the Texas ADT II, geologists were generalists working in four areas: a) Hydrology, b) Education, c) Environmental and d) Agriculture. Hydrologically, control, conservation and management of the spring snowmelt from the Hindu Kush is vital to farming and livestock management, so delay-action dams, gabion structures and irrigation projects were developed. In response to village concerns, a dam assessment and hazard-mitigation program was also developed and implemented. Team geologists also help in watershed delineation and the selection of dam emplacement locations. With respect to Education, depending on the academic qualifications of the geologist, University-level support and training projects are also developed and implemented (e.g., field-based irrigation and soil science laboratories for university students). Environmentally, geologists are leaders in promulgating environmental education and supporting the nascent Afghanistan Environmental Protection Agency. Genuine geology-based projects were atypical due to overall security and time constraints; however, the Texas ADT II completed remote sensing of chromite mineral resources in their area of operation.

Overall, an ADT geologist is essential for mission success; however, the success of an ADT geologist is contingent upon the commander’s understanding of what a geologist IS and DOES!
 
Very interesting to me.  No doubt your work is the top Cmdr's intent.  Me, being a Gnr, I focus on manoevre Cmdr's plan with the higher Cmdr's intent in mind.

I want to be optimistic but, I am skeptical that the right people will recieve this education.  My pragmatic brain sees it as one more way that the wrong people will monopolize control.

I am very interested in the charting and the IS involved and I could see myself tracking all info involved with this. 

Who knows. We may find ourselves fightiing the same problem here in Canada in our future.
 
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