17 – 20 March General Salvatore Farina, Commander JFC Brunssum, undertook an initial situational awareness trip to NATO's Resolute Support mission (RS), in Afghanistan, for which he is the out-of-theatre Operational Commander in the NATO command chain. In this role the General will conduct regular trips to RS in order to synchronise efforts in such areas as mission planning, manning, budgeting and pre-deployment training. Completing an intensive program embracing office calls with senior military, civilian and Afghan officials the General described his trip as 'comprehensive, helpful and effective'.
RS is a NATO-led, non-combat mission. It was launched on 1 January 2015, following the conclusion of the previous NATO-led ISAF mission, and the assumption of full security responsibility by the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF). It is designed to help the Afghan security forces and institutions develop the necessary capacity to continue defending the country and protect the population in a sustainable manner. It carries out training, advice and assistance activities at the security-related ministries, national institutional levels and at the higher levels of the army and police.
This mission has several functions that, amongst others, include:
- Supporting planning, programming and budgeting;
- Assuring transparency, accountability and oversight;
- Supporting adherence to the principles of rule of law and good governance;
Supporting the establishment and sustainment of processes such as force generation, recruiting, training, managing and development of personnel.
RS currently has approximately 13,000 personnel from NATO Allies and partner nations. It operates with one hub (Kabul/Bagram) and four spokes (Mazar-e-Sharif in the north, Herat in the west, Kandahar in the south, and Laghman in the east).
At their meeting on 1 December 2015, NATO Foreign Ministers and Foreign Ministers of RS Nations agreed to continue the Resolute Support Mission and sustain its current force levels during 2016. The mission, including its detailed configuration, will continue to be kept under review to ensure its effectiveness.