Afpak Hands Information Paper

                25 January 2014

SUBJECT: The AfPak Hands Program

1.   Purpose: To provide information on the AfPak Hands Program.

2.   Facts:

    a.   In 2009, the President of the United States gave the directive to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat Al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan and deter their future return to either country.   This directive created the AfPak Hands Program (APH) which was spearheaded by the Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff, Navy Admiral Mike Mullen.   The intent of the APH is to build and maintain long-lasting working relationships between US personnel and their counterparts in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  

    b.   APH is a cohort of trained professional officers, NCOs, and/or civilians who speak the local language, are culturally competent, experts at counterinsurgency (COIN), and immersed in the local issues.   The objective of this program is to create a trusting environment which fosters positive relationships with the people and government of Afghanistan and Pakistan in order to break past communication barriers and assist in the empowerment of a capable local and national government within the region.

    c.   Oversight and guidance for the APH is provided by the Joint Staff Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell (PACC) and the Afghanistan/Pakistan Management Element (AME) is responsible for managing and coordinating the training, in-theater assignments and out-of-theater assignments for the chosen personnel.  

    d.   Candidates eligible for APH are chosen from the different branches of services, have varying skill sets and/or degrees to include but not limited to contracting, engineering, combat operations, intelligence, and medicine.   While prior Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) experience is desired it is not required. The majority of billets is coded for officers of the rank of O-3 to O-6, but there also slots for warrant officers, enlisted personnel of rank E-6 to...