The Department of the Army announced today the creation of a new type of organization designed to focus on security force assistance, as well as an academy that will train soldiers assigned to these specialized units.
The first of six planned units known as Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), as well as the Military Advisor Training Academy, will be established at Fort Benning, Georgia, starting in October 2017. The Army's Training and Doctrine Command will oversee the proponency for these brigades and the academy.
The SFABs are the Army's first permanent units whose core mission is conducting security cooperation activities, allowing quick response to combatant commander requirements. The SFABs have an added capability of serving as the framework of a brigade combat team that could rapidly expand if needed to meet future requirements, according to Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, Army chief of operations.
"The SFABs can serve a dual purpose," said Anderson. "They are the day-to-day experts combatant commanders need to train, advise and assist our partners overseas, but they can serve also as a standing chain of command for rapidly expanding the Army."
SFABs will be designed on the infantry and armored brigade combat team (BCT) model and consist of approximately 500 senior officers and noncommissioned officers who will have the proven expertise to train and advise foreign security forces from small units up through ministerial levels.
The new units are designed to enhance the readiness of the Army by reducing demand for existing BCTs to conduct security force assistance operations, thereby preserving BCT readiness for full spectrum contingency operations.
The Army will also create a Military Advisor Training Academy at Fort Benning to properly train and resource SFABs with the skills and expertise needed to conduct advise and assist functions, as well as develop or refine policies and procedures.
The academy will provide the foundational training for all six SFABs planned to be created across the total Army. As the Army's proponent for brigade-level security force assistance, the Maneuver Center of Excellence will oversee the academy.
"SFABs will benefit the Army by providing trained and accessible resources for support to missions such as foreign internal defense, stabilization operations, security force assistance and counterinsurgency operations," said Anderson.