Fort Bragg already bills itself as home of the Airborne and Army Special Operations. Now, the installation might need to add Security Force Assistance to its welcome signs.
On Friday, the Army announced that a new one-star command will be established at Fort Bragg to oversee the Army’s newest units, Security Force Assistance Brigades.
The Army also announced the locations of three new Security Force Assistance Brigades that will be housed at Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Carson, Colorado; and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.
The Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade was established last year at Fort Benning, Georgia. The 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade is in the process of being stood up at Fort Bragg now.
The Army has plans for six SFABs by 2022, including one in the National Guard whose location has not been announced. The specialized units have a core mission to conduct advise-and-assist operations with allied and partner nations, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
Those missions have previously been filled by brigade combat teams, including those from Fort Bragg.
"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," said Secretary of the Army Mark T. Esper.
Army officials said the stationing decisions were based on strategic considerations, “including projected time to activate and train an SFAB, presence of senior grade personnel to man the unit and required facility costs.”
"I think we'll see a much better adviser capability built out of these brigades," said Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley. "Meanwhile, we'll recoup the readiness value of bringing the regular (combat) brigades home to train for their regularly designed missions."
Fort Bragg’s 2nd SFAB is currently located in space previously used by the inactivated 440th Airlift Wing, an Air Force Reserve unit that was shuttered in 2016.
Officials have not announced where the new Security Force Assistance Command will be located, but the new organization will fall under U.S. Army Forces Command. It will be responsible for training and readiness oversight of the six brigades.
According to Forces Command, the SFAC will be led by Brig. Gen. Mark H. Landes, who was previously deputy commanding general for support of the 1st Armored Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, and will include about 80 positions, including soldiers and civilians.
Some staff members will arrive this summer, officials said.
Soldiers are screened based on qualifications and experience before they are allowed to join an SFAB. They also receive special training in language, foreign weapons and the Joint Fires Observer Course.
The Army has introduced a number of incentives and special pay to entice soldiers to join an SFAB. Officials have also said the units will receive the most advanced military equipment available.
Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at 486-3567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.