The Army’s security force assistance brigades are preparing for more global missions in the coming months, the outgoing commander of the SFAB enterprise, and his successor, said in interviews last week.
Some new missions will dispatch SFAB advisers to more austere and far-flung locations where the U.S. military footprint is less developed. That presents opportunities to work with new foreign militaries, but it can also complicate how advisers are protected and sustained.
“Just as likely in the future, we will have small countries in the Pacific, small countries in Africa, small countries in South America and Central America where we may only have one team,” said Brig. Gen. Scott Jackson, who will lead the division-level Security Force Assistance Command going forward. “It could be four people; it could be 12 people, depending on the effect we’re trying to achieve.”
The SFABs have already taken on missions to advise foreign troops on everything from coordinating air support to sustaining logistics on patrol. But so far, most of those efforts have been focused on Afghanistan.
That’s now changing. As the Army aligns each of its five active-duty SFABs to a different combatant command, specialized advisory teams will be offered up to regional leaders. Personnel from the sixth SFAB, a National Guard unit, will be available to all five COCOMs, said Brig. Gen. Mark H. Landes, the outgoing commander of Security Force Assistance Command.
“One [SFAB] is already aligning with [Indo-Pacific Command], and then another one is taking over the mission for [Africa Command]. So we’re already seeing regional alignment,” Landes added. “I won’t give a specific date on when all five will be regionally aligned, but it’s within months, not years.”