Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Pentagon program has U.S. civilians advising Afghan ministries to improve cooperation, security

By Walter Pincus Washington Post   April 19, 2011

Beginning last summer selected senior Defense Department civilians began replacing previously untrained U.S. military personnel and contractors as advisers to top levels of the Afghan defense and interior ministries. The credit goes to a relatively new Pentagon program called, appropriately, the Ministry of Defense Advisors (MoDA).

“It’s a way of generating high-quality, effective civilian advisers who establish lasting links to partner ministries,” was how it was described last week by Dr. James Schear, deputy assistant secretary for Defense for partnership, strategy and stability operations before a Senate Armed Services subcommittee.

The Defense civilians, grade GS-13 and above, must agree to stay in Afghanistan for one to two years and take seven weeks of pre-deployment training, Schear said. Fundsare available to hire replacements to fill their jobs while they are deployed, he added.

“Within two months after our first deployment of 17 advisers in Kabul, General [David A.] Petraeus quickly challenged us to recruit, train and deploy 100 more before the end of this year,” he said.

A recent advertisement on the Defense Department’s Civilian Expeditionary Workforce Web site for a one-year position as a senior adviser to the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MOI) describes the complexity of the jobs being undertaken in the MoDA program.

April 19, 2011 - Posted by | Afghanistan, Civilian Contractors | , ,

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