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Reference Guide 11-39
August 2011

Roles and Responsibilities

Brigade Combat Team (BCT) Roles and Responsibilities:

  • BCT primary Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) partnership is: BCT with Afghan National Security Force (ANSF).
  • BCT ensures that the team concept is employed at battalion (BN)- provincial reconstruction team (PRT) level.
  • BCT provides staff guidance, resourcing, and synchronization for BNs and PRTs.
  • BCT ensures that interagency coordination occurs within the battle space.
  • BCT ensures the synchronization of inter-province activities (where multiple provinces and PRTs occupy the battle space).

Maneuver Battalion Roles and Responsibilities:

  • BNs should partner/coordinate with PRTs and district support teams (DSTs) on targeting and nonlethal source of instability and capacity-building actions.
  • BNs should participate in PRT and DST meetings.
  • BNs should rely on the PRTs and DSTs as linkages to local leaders.
  • BNs should coordinate all key leader engagements (KLEs) with the appropriate PRT and/or DST.
  • BNs should support PRT and DST district stability framework survey collection efforts.

PRT Roles and Responsibilities:

  • The PRT's senior governance officer is the primary U.S. government counterpart for the provincial governor.
  • The PRT commander serves as the primary military counterpart for the provincial governor.
  • The PRT should not act as an alternative to the GIRoA, but rather should seek to improve the capacity of the GIRoA to govern itself.
  • The PRT performs a vital role in helping to extend the reach of the government, especially in remote areas, and in deterring agents of instability.
  • The PRT seeks to establish an environment that is stable enough for local authorities and civil society to engage in reconstruction, political transition, and social and economic development.
  • The PRT ensures international efforts are in line with the objectives of the Afghan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and evolving provincial development plans.


  • PRT has lead role in KLEs/governance activities at the provincial level.
  • DST has lead role in KLEs/governance activities at the district level.

Integrated Command Team:

  • PRTs are often under operational control to the BCT (or regional command/division).
  • The "integrated command team" (composed of military and civilian officials) at the BCT level and at the maneuver BN/PRT level is essential for synchronizing the diplomatic, economic, and military lines of operation.
  • The "integrated command team" requires all relevant, unique perspectives in order to understand the issues and develop solutions. It also requires team-wide familiarity of the key people, processes, and structures involved in supporting the decision-making effort. Civilian-military team building depends on a mutual attitude of openness to different and unfamiliar perspectives and a genuine collaborative effort to determine, plan, and conduct common outcomes. See the following diagram - "Integrated Civ-Mil Decision-Making Structure."

Figure 3

Communications Architecture:

  • Who is using what for communication between the BCT, its maneuver battalions, and the PRT (i.e., communications systems, information networks and data repositories, knowledge management tools and processes, etc.)?
  • What systems, processes, and procedures are essential to "unity of effort"?
  • Which ones do not contribute?

Reporting Requirements:

  • Commanders should ensure that all lines of authority have the same situational awareness on the commander's critical information requirements.
  • BN and PRT staffs should meet the reporting timelines and requirements of the BCT.
  • PRTs should provide timely, front-line reporting on political, economic, security, social, and other issues.
  • Reporting and information-sharing requirements apply to any agribusiness development team (ADT) in the structure as well.

Battle Space Organization - Movement/Cooperation:

  • BCTs maintain situational awareness on the multiplicity of actors within the battle space.
  • PRTs need to understand the organization of the battle space - i.e., the areas of operation for both the BCT and its maneuver BNs.
  • Movement (ground and air) throughout the battle space requires planning, cooperation, and communication with the appropriate battle space owner (BSO). The BSO (the BCT or its maneuver BN) has certain expectations/processes/procedures for movement that must be met by the PRT, ADT, etc.


  • DSTs seek to strengthen the district government's links with provincial authorities, ensuring the needs of the district are conveyed, and that appropriate ministries in Kabul address their needs.
  • DSTs support activities such as creating workable district development plans and forming representative community councils.
  • DSTs coordinate activities through both military and agency channels.
  • DSTs share information about local power brokers and local dynamics with the provincial integrated command team.

District Delivery Program (DDP):

  • The DDP was designed as a short-term (national-to-district) program¬†in which national-level government officials from Kabul visit districts across Afghanistan.¬†The purpose is to meet with district councils, make assessments on operating costs and service requirements,¬†and develop short-term plans to meet the needs of the district,¬†including provision of¬†funds¬†for the districts.¬†DDP visits are coordinated through each level of government (national, provincial, and district)¬†and through each ministry. The DDP¬†was designed as¬†an Afghan-led process, although the funding sources are external.
  • PRTs and DSTs should encourage¬†lower-level governments (provincial- and district-level governments) to coordinate their efforts and synchronize their plans (provincial plans and district plans) for each service¬†sector (e.g., health, education, agriculture, and justice).


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