Rare event: Security Team gets First Army combat patch
June 11, 2012
Rare Event: Security Team Gets First Army Combat Patch
LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan--For only the second time in more than fifty years, First Army Soldiers are deployed in support of ongoing operations in Afghanistan, filling an Army requirement for Security Force Assisting and Advising Teams (SFAAT). A combat patch ceremony took place May 31 at Forward Operating Base Gamberi during which a dozen First Army Soldiers placed the First Army patch on their right shoulders.
"It's great to continue the legacy of First Army," said Lt. Col. Alan Wagner, SFAAT-Five officer in charge and 191st Infantry Brigade, deputy commanding officer, First Army Division West.
Wagner notes the tremendous history of First Army while recognizing First Army Soldier contributions to fighting the Global War on Terror. "It's great to be a part of the First Army team, continuing the unit's heritage serving in combat operations."
Wagner emphasizes that donning the big "A" patch on the right shoulder is a significant "first" for the unit since the start of current combat operations after 9/11.
More than 135 hand-picked First Army senior officers and noncommissioned officers assigned to Training Support Brigades deployed as 13 teams in the spring to support the Army's new SFAAT mission in Afghanistan.
Their mission, according to Wagner, is to assist, train and advise the Afghan National Army as they assume the lead in providing security for their country.
"We want to help train them to be more self sustainable and to be better prepared to take the lead in operations in Afghanistan," Wagner added.
Having completed their first month in country, Wagner and his team continue to build on the relationships established with their Afghan partners through efforts to improve the Afghan Army's training and education system.
"We're just helping their system get better so they continue to improve training for their soldiers," Wagner said.
First Army is the United States Forces Command's executing agent for Reserve Component readiness, and plays a strategic role in training, mobilizing, validating, deploying and demobilizing RC forces supporting overseas contingency operations.
First Army, located at Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, recently located in Summer 2011 from Atlanta to the Quad Cities which borders Illinois and Iowa.
View more information about First Army and its unique history at http://www.first.army.mil/content.aspx?ContentID=200.