1st Security Force Assistance Brigade To Deploy To Afghanistan In Spring

Capt. Christopher Hawkins, 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, middle, and an interpreter speaks with local national soldiers to gain information about a village during an enacted military operation on urban terrain event at Lee Field, Oct. 23, 2017, on Fort Benning, Ga. (Photo Credit: Spc. Noelle E. Wiehe)

The U.S. Army recently announced that the newly-created 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) will deploy to Afghanistan under the command of Colonel Scott Jackson in the spring of 2018 in support of the ongoing effort to train and advise Afghan security forces. 1st SFAB personnel formed the initial classes at the Military Advisor Training Academy (MATA) in August 2017 at Fort Benning, Georgia; approximately 525 had completed the course by November.

The Army intends to establish five Regular Army and one Army National Guard SFABs. In December it stated that the 2nd SFAB would stand up in January 2018 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

The Army created the SFABs and MATA in an effort to improve its capabilities to resource and conduct Security Force Assistance (SFA) missions and to relieve line Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) of these responsibilities. Each SFAB will be manned by 800 senior and noncommissioned volunteer officers with demonstrated experience training and advising foreign security forces.

Specialized training at MATA includes language, foreign weapons, and the Joint Fires Observer course. SFAB commanders and leaders have previous command experience and enlisted advisors hold the rank of sergeant and above. As of August 2017, recruiting for the first unit had been short by approximately 350 personnel, though the shortfall appears to have been remedied. The Army is working to address policies and regulations with regard to promotion rates and boards, selection boards, and special pay.in order to formalize a SFAB career path

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Shawn Woodford
Shawn Woodford

Shawn Robert Woodford, Ph.D., is a military historian with nearly two decades of research, writing, and analytical experience on operations, strategy, and national security policy. His work has focused on special operations, unconventional and paramilitary warfare, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, naval history, quantitative historical analysis, nineteenth and twentieth century military history, and the history of nuclear weapon development. He has a strong research interest in the relationship between politics and strategy in warfare and the epistemology of wargaming and combat modeling.

All views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of any other private or public organization or entity.

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