Senate Leader Wants a New Army Advisory Brigade for Africa by John Vandiver - Stars & Stripes
STUTTGART, Germany - A key U.S. senator is pressing the Army to set aside one of its new Security Forces Assistant Brigades for missions in Africa, which are now being carried out by a mix of rotating units.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a letter Monday to Army leadership that U.S. Africa Command would benefit from having a more reliable unit to tap for its expanding advisory mission on the continent.
“As you know, AFRICOM does not have any assigned forces, but must compete for allocated forces within the Department of Defense’s global force management process,” Inhofe wrote to Army Secretary Mark Esper.
Earlier this year, the Army stood up its first SFAB, which is now advising Afghan forces. The advisory brigades, manned by more experienced enlisted troops and hand-picked officers, are intended to provide relief for special operations forces as well as regular Army units carrying out training and advisory missions. Over time, the SFABs could free up the Army’s 58 brigade combat teams to concentrate on building their own combat readiness rather than the advisory missions.
The Army already is looking at Africa, along with Eastern Europe and South Korea, as potential destinations for new SFABs. By the end of 2019, the Army wants five such brigades, which would eventually carry the bulk of the Pentagon’s train, advise and assist missions throughout the world…