Army Announces Bases Where Three New SFABs Will Be Stationed

A combat advisor for the 2nd Battalion, 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade shakes hands with a role player acting as an Afghan civilian to begin the process of settling the conflict in the simulated town of Batoor, Jan. 15, 2018, as part of rotation 18-03 at the Joint Readiness Training Center, at Fort Polk, La. (U.S. Army /Sgt. Ryan Tatum)
A combat advisor for the 2nd Battalion, 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade shakes hands with a role player acting as an Afghan civilian to begin the process of settling the conflict in the simulated town of Batoor, Jan. 15, 2018, as part of rotation 18-03 at the Joint Readiness Training Center, at Fort Polk, La. (U.S. Army /Sgt. Ryan Tatum)

The U.S. Army announced Friday that it will station three of its new Security Force Assistance Brigades at bases in Colorado, Washington and Texas.

These specialized brigades are designed to take over advise-and-assist missions with friendly nations to relieve combat brigades in the operational force of the duty.

The 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade, or SFAB, will be stationed at Fort Hood, Texas; the 4th SFAB will stand up at Fort Carson, Colorado; and the 5th SFAB will be based at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington, according to a May 18 Army press release.

The three new SFABs are the final active-duty units joining the 1st SFAB stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, and the 2nd SFAB at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The National Guard is still considering locations for its SFAB, according to the release.

"There will always be a need to help build allied or partnered forces, and the SFABs will take on this critical mission and allow brigade combat teams to concentrate on preparing for potential full-spectrum combat operations against a near-peer adversary," Army Secretary Mark T. Esper said in the release.

The Army decided to station the three new SFABs at Carson, Hood and Lewis-McChord because of "strategic considerations including projected time to activate and train an SFAB, presence of senior-grade personnel to man the unit, and required facility costs," according to the release.

"I think we'll see a much better adviser capability built out of these brigades," said Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. "Meanwhile, we'll recoup the readiness value of bringing the regular [combat] brigades home to train for their regularly designed missions."

The SFAB program selects the most highly trained tactical leaders in the Army. SFAB soldiers receive special training through the Military Advisor Training Academy to include language, foreign weapons, and the Joint Fires Observer course.

Commanders and leaders in the SFAB are required to have previously commanded and led similar BCT units at the same echelon, according to the release. Enlisted advisers must hold the rank of sergeant or above.

The Army is also establishing a command element within U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg to oversee training and readiness of the SFABs, the release states.

-- Matthew Cox can be reached at matthew.cox@military.com.

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