First SFAB to fulfill train, advise and assist mission in Afghanistan

By Courtney McBride / January 11, 2018 at 2:13 PM

The first security force assistance brigade will deploy to Afghanistan this spring, the Army announced today.

Based at Ft. Benning, GA, and commanded by Col. Scott Jackson, the brigade is in the midst of a rotation through the Joint Readiness Training Center at Ft. Polk, LA, in preparation for deployment.

Service leaders have worked to expedite the creation and deployment of the SFABs, originally formulated by Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. The new force structure, which ultimately will include five SFABs in the active component and one in the Army National Guard, is designed to train partner nations' conventional forces.

The new brigades, which are smaller than traditional brigade combat teams and staffed by experienced officers, will free up BCTs for other missions and could provide chains of command if the Army is expanded.

Maj. Gen. John George, director of force development in the office of the deputy chief of staff (G-8), told Inside the Army in October the service "did everything we could to accelerate" the brigade's creation and training ahead of potential deployment.

Lawmakers last fall granted the Army's request to reprogram $90 million in fiscal year 2017 funds to provide enhanced communications for the brigade.

Maj. Gen. Brian Mennes said in October the short-term objective is to use the SFABs to build partner capacity in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mennes is the director of force management in the office of the deputy chief of staff (G-3/5/7).

The service on Dec. 8 announced the activation of the second SFAB, stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC.