Small Wars Journal

Beyond SFABs: Getting the Most Out of the Army's Planned Higher-Echelon Advisory Units

Beyond SFABs: Getting the Most Out of the Army's Planned Higher-Echelon Advisory Units by Rick Montcalm - Modern War Institute

Six Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs) are apparently not enough advisory capability for the US Army. Last month during a panel discussion at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Brig. Gen. Brian Mennes, the Army’s force management director, briefly mentioned the Army has “a vision of creating two security force assistance divisions and corps.” SFABs can cover the tactical advisory mission, but there is no complementary advisory organization that addresses the operational and strategic level advise-and-assist mission. These new headquarters are intended to fill that gap.

Little more than a concept at this point, the security force assistance divisions and corps could provide a critical capability that has been absent from the years-long advisory mission to date. The plan for these additional echelons clearly sees improvements in the supporting institutional structures as vital to the long-term development of tactical forces. As these organizations become reality, the Army must determine their purpose and mission, and address several challenges that could prevent the SFABs, divisions, and corps from becoming the game changers they are billed as…

Read on.