SFAB Selection – The 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (1st SFAB) has a two-day candidate assessment process for its incoming personnel. The SFAB selection takes place at Fort Benning, Georgia.
Six SFAB Units. The U.S. Army plans on establishing six Security Force Assistance Brigades over the next several years. The 1st SFAB has already stood up at Fort Benning, Georgia and it is currently undergoing pre-deployment training for a tour in Afghanistan that will begin in early 2018. The SFAB mission is to provide tacticians who can train, advise, assist, accompany, and enable allied and partner nation armies. Rumor has it that this mission has spawned a new acronym – TA3E – which is somewhat similar to the “TAA” found within the OTERA acronym that describes the Security Force Assistance mission.
Evaluation. The “assessment events evaluate a candidates physical attributes, problem solving, communication, inter-personal skills as well as their ethical perspectives.”
Two-Fold Assessment. Colonel Scott Jackson, the commander of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, says that the candidate must meet the U.S. Army’s standards derived from the unit’s mission profile and also possess the mental and personal attributes to be an effective advisor.
Past Advisory Experiences of U.S. Army. In the past, the U.S. Army has deployed advisory teams throughout many conflicts (Korea, Vietnam, etc.). Over the past decade and a half advisory teams have deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, these conventional force advisory teams were ‘ad hoc’ in nature – temporary arrangements with spotty selection and training practices prior to deployment. The SFAB units of the U.S. Army are a step in the right direction to have a professionalized conventional force advisory capacity and capability.
Complementing SF FID Capability. The SFAB advisor teams will complement the advisory effort that the U.S. Army Special Forces engage in with foreign armies (Foreign Internal Defense of FID). Special Forces has had FID as a core mission for many years but the recent operations tempo has taxed the ability of SF teams to respond to the demand signal for advisor teams from combatant commanders around the world.
Testing Limits. According to an Army news release (see below) the two-day “. . . assessment pushes Soldiers to go beyond their physical and mental limits.” The assessment process was developed with the intent to select strong advisors.
1st SFAB Currently Recruiting. The unit is seeking promotable specialists, sergeants, and staff sergeants with a background in combat medicine, vehicle maintenance, logistics, explosive ordnance disposal, communications, field artillery, and military intelligence. If selected they will serve on 12-man advisory teams.
Read more in “1st SFAB Assesses Candidates”, DVIDS, October 17, 2017.
More Articles on the SFABs.
SOF and the Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs), SOF News, June 21, 2017.
News Stories on 1st SFAB, Afhan War News