Part 1: Defining a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT)

I did a briefing shortly after arriving home from Afghanistan about my deployment. You guys have been reading my stories, but may not know the full details of what my team was doing in Afghanistan. Here is a little bit about the PRT mission, where I was and what I learned. This is a 5 part series to give you a deeper understanding of what a PRT is like. If you have any questions email me or comment below and I will do my best to answer them.

What is a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) Check out my five part series breaking down the team, the missions, the work I did and the challenges we faced.

[tweetthis]What is a PRT? Defining a PRT. @Airman2Mom[/tweetthis]

I deployed to Kapisa, Afghanistan from Feb 2010 to Nov 2010:

Part 1: Defining a Provincial Reconstruction Team

A Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) is made up of Air Force and Army members along with key government agencies who provide key expertise in nation-building.  Our team had 3 representatives from civilian agencies. They were the US Agency for International Development, Department of State, and US Agriculture.

The key members of the PRT are the

  • PRT Commander (leads discussion with Afghan leaders, the face of the PRT)
  • Civil Engineers (CE) (project managers for reconstruction effort)
  • An Army civil affairs team (collect demographics throughout the assigned Province and coordinate with CE to implement new projects)
  • Public affairs (spread the good news of the PRT to the Afghan people, by radio and leaflets)
  • Security team (moves key players throughout the Province)
  • Intel Officer (monitors activity in the area and does his best to help us know of potential threats or dangers)
  • Personnel Officer (completed all the paperwork behind the scenes that needed to be done)
  • Operations Team (communicates with members from the home base while out on a mission, coordinate back up support if needed and help plan each mission)
  • Logistics Team (coordinate getting supplies ranging from bullets to food shipments. Everything we needed they were able to get for us. They also were in charge of mail)

The United States defined the PRT mission as providing security through development and reconstruction. While extending the reach and influence of both the Coalition Forces and the Afghan Government.

A former members of the Kapisa PRT described the mission as

“Assisting the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan also called GIRoA in providing a secure, stable environment for reconstruction efforts in Kapisa Province.  The PRT was able to accomplish this in two ways— first by coordinating with GIRoA and building the needed facilities that the Afghans cannot provide for themselves, and secondly by connecting the Afghan people with their government.”

The Kapisa PRT seeks to help facilitate the local and national governments of Afghanistan while working together to provide for the development and security.”

“…to empower local governments to govern their constituents more effectively”

“Their mission is to facilitate reconstruction efforts that empower local governments, making them more effective and extending the reach of the centralized government of Afghanistan into the provinces.”

PRT Mission Statement from the “ISAF PRT Handbook, Edition 4″…

“A Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) will assist The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to extend its authority, in order to facilitate the development of a stable and secure environment in the identified area of operations, and enable Security Sector Reform (SSR) and reconstruction efforts.”

From “The main objective of the Provincial Reconstruction Team mission is to assist the Central Government of Afghanistan and extend its authority throughout the province, to ensure security and to help build an environment favorable for reconstruction.“

“supported by a team of various specialties including civil affairs, engineers, medical staff, public affairs, information operations, logistics”

“A PRT includes a military component (Civil Affairs/Force Protection, etc.), civilian police advisors, and civilian representatives of US (or other national) government foreign affairs agencies.”

“A PRT is a unit introduced by the United States government, consisting of military officers, diplomats, and reconstruction subject matter experts, working to support reconstruction efforts in unstable states.”

This gives you a good idea of what our mission and goal was while we were in Afghanistan. What was written on paper and what happened was not always met perfectly. But it is a great way to see what the expectations were. Even if we were not given the tools to meet them.

Come back next week to see Part 2: The Province of Kapisa

8 comments on “Part 1: Defining a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT)

  1. I love learning about the armed force’s ‘alphabet soup’ (educators do that a lot, too ;)). It’s always nice to be in the know! Thank you for explaining it in layman’s terms!

    • I’m so glad you guys all like the idea and can understand more about what I did. I didn’t think about it in layman’s term, but that is what it is.

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