Staff Sgt. Steven Stogner, tactical platoon sergeant, 2nd Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, explains how to inspect body armor and equipment needed for air insertion missions to Female Engagement Team soldiers from the 504th BfSB, Aug. 13, at Forward Operating Base Spin Boldak, Afghanistan. The new FET will embed with squadron operations to help connect Afghan women in the area with their government. Stogner is a Heneryetta, Okla., native deployed from Fort Hood, Texas. Photo by Senior Airman Jessica Lockoski
FORWARD OPERATING BASE SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan — Soldiers from the 2nd Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 504th Battlefield Surveillance Brigade, recently created the first-ever Female Engagement Team in Combined Task Force Viper’s area of operations in rural, southern Afghanistan.
“The role of our FET is to connect the government and its women together and better their treatment and opportunities, such as healthcare, education and employment,” said 1st Lt. Sarah Casper, FET team leader and information operations officer, 2-38 Cav.
FETs, comprised of military women, are aimed at assessing the needs of Afghan women. They partner with Government Islamic Republic of Afghanistan officials to improve the women’s quality of life, treatment and influence among the population.
Casper, two female Afghan interpreters and three female soldiers from the 504th BfSB are identified as FET members. They hope to increase the two-way communication in the Spin Boldak and Weesh areas so they can initially begin to facilitate basic needs.
Many women in these regions have little or no interaction with female soldiers. However, Casper, a Florence, S.C., native deployed from Fort Hood, Texas, explained by listening to them and sharing simple gestures, such as smiling and comparing roles of household responsibilities and motherhood, the engagement will go a long way in building trust and self confidence.
Viper’s FET will also play a duel part by gathering atmospheric knowledge, which can give the squadron a larger picture of situational awareness in surrounding village communities.
“We also will play a role in tactical operations,” she added. “A lot of commanders use FETs during kinetic operations where female soldiers conduct physical searches of women or gather pertinent information from them.”
For example, due to cultural sensitivities, a male soldier should not approach or speak with an Afghan woman. Any interaction with a woman may put her life in jeopardy or scrutiny from members of her village.
Read more @ http://militarygear.com/asp/2011/08...dier's+Perspective)&utm_content=Google+Reader