I guess I didn’t give nearly enough information in my e-mail. Sorry. I’ll do my best to answer all your questions. At least the ones that I know the answers to (and I don’t know very much right now).
I currently work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). USACE is responsible for the reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Civilians can not be forced to deploy, however, they are much needed because our military resources are stretched very thin right now thanks to a certain someone’s policies.
Civilians can volunteer for temporary duty assignments in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. I don’t have to quit my job or anything. I'll just be doing my job in a different location temporarily; I'll still get paid. I’ll go for 6 months, and then return to my job here. While there I’ll be under the protection of the U.S. military.
Here’s a little more information on PRTs:
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs)
Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) are aimed at promoting the emergence of a strong and credible central government able to extend its influence nation-wide.
PRTs are not intended to function as peacekeeping entities. They are relatively small, inter-disciplinary groups formed to assist local authorities, the national government, nongovernmental organizations, and United Nations agencies, in their efforts to rebuild Afghanistan, reform its security sector and disarm, demobilize and reintegrate its armed members.
While the military component of some PRTs will undertake some engineering work, reconstruction is but one aspect of the PRT mission. Rather than implement change, the PRT’s emphasis is to enable change. By providing security and basic support, PRTs will facilitate the exchange of information amongst various groups, thereby stimulating reconstruction and contributing to the process of normalization. Chain of Command PRTs currently report to the HQ Coalition Joint Civil Military Operations Task Force (CJCMOTF) within HQ Combined Forces Coalition Afghanistan (CFC-A).
Given their relatively small size, the military component of PRTs are intended to provide local security only. Combat operations, should they be required, will be conducted by other forces.
PRTs focus on supporting change to a wide variety of areas, among them education, customs, infrastructure, agriculture, police, the judiciary, and public health. As capabilities improve over time, PRT duties will gradually be transferred to the government or the commercial sector.
You can also check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Provincial_Reconstruction_Team
And for info on the overall USACE mission in Afghanistan (a little glossy but some good info): http://www.aed.usace.army.mil/
Since I don’t know what information I’m allowed to share with the world, I’m keeping this generic. My last name will not appear anywhere on this blog. Please don’t identify me in any comments. Once I find out the level of detail I’m allowed to share, I’ll adjust my postings as appropriate and let you know what is okay and what is not.
And I’ll try to answer all your questions, so keep checking back.