Fort Bragg will house Army’s 2nd Security Forces Assistance Brigade
By COREY DICKSTEIN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 8, 2017
WASHINGTON – The Army will activate its second brigade of senior officers and noncommissioned officers dedicated solely to training and advising partner forces, the service announced Friday.
The 2nd Security Forces Assistance Brigade will be activated next month at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, said Dov Schwartz, an Army spokesman. Army officials chose the service’s most populated post to house the new unit because of the existing infrastructure on the installation and the presence of senior grade personnel already stationed at Bragg who could be quickly moved into the unit.
The Army aims to build six SFABs in the coming years, assessing the service is “likely to be involved in train, advise, and assist operations for many years to come,” said Gen. Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff.
For more than a decade, traditional Army combat brigades have been training partner forces across the globe to battle terrorist and insurgent groups in areas including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and across Africa. Training the new SFAB units to conduct the bulk of those assignments would free the Army’s combat brigades to focus their training on conducting full-spectrum operations, such as they would need in a war against a near-pear adversary such as Russia, Iran or North Korea, according to Milley.
During the summer, the Army stood up the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade at Fort Benning in Georgia.
That unit is expected to deploy next year to Afghanistan, where it will be charged with training, advising and assisting Afghanistan’s conventional forces as they prepare to launch offensive operations against the Taliban, according to Army Gen. John Nicholson, the top American commander in Afghanistan.
The Army envisions each SFAB containing some 800 soldiers and hopes to fill those ranks with volunteers who graduate from the Military Advisor Training Academy, a new school at Fort Benning where soldiers learn advanced combat advising skills, according to the Army. That includes language, foreign weapons operation and the Joint Fires Observer course, which trains soldier to coordinate artillery fire and airstrikes from the front lines.
The Army plans to fill its Security Forces Assistance Brigades with experienced soldiers from a variety of career fields. The brigades’ soldiers will face stringent physical standards on par with the elite 75th Ranger Regiment, according to the Army.