WASHINGTON — The 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade hosted an activation ceremony Feb. 8 at the National Infantry Museum on Fort Benning, Georgia.
“Our team is honored to make history as the Army’s first purpose-built SFAB to deploy in support of our national security objectives. As advisors, we stand ready to train, advise, assist, accompany and enable our Afghan National Security Forces partners to secure peace in Afghanistan,” said Col. Scott Jackson, commander of the 1st SFAB. “I am proud of our advisors’ hard work to build and train this unit, and I am confident in their skills, and ability to get the job done. I couldn’t ask for a better team to fight alongside.”
The 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade is slated to deploy in spring to provide training and advising and assistance to Afghan National Security Forces.
The SFAB will wear brown berets, a common shoulder sleeve insignia and unit specific distinctive insignia to recognize these specialized units whose core mission is to conduct training, advising, assisting, enabling and accompanying operations with allied and partner nations.
“The beret, flash and uniform patches are a recognition of the heritage of military training and advising, codified as a professional Army community,” said Gen. Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army.
SFAB Soldiers will be on the ground with their partners – fighting side by side with them in all conditions, so the brown beret symbolizes dirt or mud akin to the “muddy boots” moniker given to leaders who are always out with the troops. Brown berets are not similar to any other beret currently in the Army inventory.
The flash for the beret is blue with red stripes at an angle from bottom-left to top-right. A small white square indicates the number of the unit. The shoulder sleeve is a shield with a sword, spearhead and stars. The unit tab will have the word “ADVISOR” on it. And the unit insignia for 1st SFAB is a blue-and-gold shield with a black sword pointing upwards with a beveled stripe.
The SFABs are not designed for irregular warfare, unconventional warfare, special reconnaissance, counterterrorism or any of the other missions that are unique to Special Forces. Only Special Forces have the capability to do those missions. Foreign Internal Defense (FID) and Security Force Assistance are the only mission areas that overlap. SFABs and Special Forces will be complementary.
SFABs provide training in certain key competencies of conventional forces such as armor, artillery, or aviation for which Special Forces are too engage with other missions to do on a large scale.
Media queries about this specific unit should be addressed to Maj. Matthew Fontaine, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade public affairs officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 706-544-0005. All other media queries should be addressed to Maj. Christopher Ophardt at email@example.com or 703-693-6356.
Pictured above: Soldiers uncase the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade and battalion colors during the 1st SFAB Activation Ceremony at the National Infantry Museum, Feb. 8.Soldiers uncase the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade and battalion colors during the 1st SFAB Activation Ceremony at the National Infantry Museum, Feb. 8. (U.S. Army photo by Patrick A. Albright)