WASHINGTON -- The Army announced today a spring 2018 deployment of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, to provide training and advising assistance to Afghan National Security Forces.
"Security force assistance brigades are specialized units whose core mission is to conduct advise-and-assist operations with allied and partner nations," said Gen. Mark A. Milley, chief of staff of the Army. "These units will help us achieve the national security objectives by, with, and through allied and partnered indigenous security forces for the next 25-50 years."
SFABs are permanent, additive force structure that are being developed and deployed as a solution to an enduring Army requirement in support of the defense strategy. The Army will field six SFABs: Five in the Regular Army and one in the Army National Guard.
"SFABs are made up mostly of volunteers, who are then specially trained in a range of skills to provide combat advising at the tactical level," said Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., commander of Resolute Support forces and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. "They will enable us to help the Afghans with their operations simultaneously in multiple corps."
Soldiers applying to SFABs are screened based on qualifications and experience, and their units receive the best, most advanced military equipment available. SFAB soldiers receive special training through the Military Assistance Training Academy, which includes language instruction, foreign weapons and advanced medical training.
"Our team is honored to make history as the Army's first purpose-built SFAB to deploy in support of our national security objectives. As combat advisors, we stand ready to train, advise, assist, accompany and enable our Afghan National Security Forces partners to secure peace in Afghanistan," said Col. Scott Jackson, commander of the 1st SFAB. "I am proud of our advisors' hard work to build and train this unit, and I am confident in their skills, and ability to get the job done. I couldn't ask for a better team to fight alongside."
Commanders and leaders of SFABs have previously commanded and led similar brigade combat team units at the same echelon. Primary enlisted advisors hold the rank of sergeant and above. The Army is starting to formalize policies and regulations that will help SFAB soldiers with promotion rates and boards, selection boards, and special pay.
Media queries about this specific unit should be addressed to Maj. Matthew Fontaine, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade public affairs officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-544-0005. All other media queries should be addressed to Maj. Christopher Ophardt at email@example.com or 703-693-6356.