Army advising units are seeing high demand for their services in different forms as the United States seeks to help other allies improve their defenses.
The Security Force Assistance Brigades have grown in number and size over the past few years, but are tailoring their deployments down to the small-unit level, dispatching teams of no more than a dozen soldiers led by a captain to just about every combatant command across the globe.
Maj. Gen. Scott A. Jackson, head of Security Force Assistance Command, said in October that the original 800 soldiers in the first SFAB were all focused on Afghanistan shortly after the unit’s 2017 inception.
But now, these smaller teams are spread across the COCOMs, and in 2021 alone, had deployed to 41 countries.
On any given day, about 800 SFAB soldiers are deployed around the world, Jackson said. That should increase to 1,000 in the coming years.
Jackson said the decentralization of the brigades has helped reach more allies and partners across the globe.
SFAB soldiers are typically experienced NCOs, drawn from a pool of volunteers, who are highly proficient in their job-related soldiering tasks, whether that’s infantry tactics, logistics or equipment maintenance.
SFAB soldiers have helped build “Rapid Intervention Battalions” in Djibouti and conducted small unit training in Mongolia. Teams have been working closely with allies in the Colombian military, too, and are expanding to other Latin American allies, Army officials said.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.