The primary mission of the 27th Brigade and Task Force Phoenix was to train and mentor the Afghan National Army. This was accomplished by embedding New York National Guard soldiers within Afghan units and at the Kabul Military Training Center, which instructs new recruits, officers, and noncommissioned officers for the Afghan Army.
During its Afghanistan mission, the 27th Brigade trained thousands of new Afghan soldiers and police officers and prepared twenty-four Afghan brigades to operate independent of coalition forces. Prior to deployment, a conscious effort was made to select New York National Guards soldiers who were police officers in their civilian careers.
(right) Master Sergeant Michael O'Brien, a New York City police officer and veteran of Ground Zero and Iraq, instructs an Afghan soldier on proper firing technique. Photo courtesy of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs.