Small Wars Journal

Gap in Army Adviser Brigade Deployments Could Create Complications in Afghanistan

Gap in Army Adviser Brigade Deployments Could Create Complications in Afghanistan by Shawn Snow – Army Times

The commander of U.S Central Command said he’s confident the next Army security force assistance brigade, or SFAB, will be ready to take the reins of the Afghan mission.

But the SFAB that’s on the ground now in the war-torn country is slated to pack its bags and head for home sometime in November — potentially leaving a gap of several months, as the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade isn’t expected to deploy until early 2019, the Fayetteville Observer reported.

It’s an uncommon turnover in a war zone where the military traditionally hands over operations to incoming units on the ground — sometimes referred to as a left seat, right seat ride — where new units are familiarized with their battlespace from an outgoing unit.

“The U.S. Army really puts the emphasis on this idea of passing lessons learned and passing information,” Gen. Joseph Votel, the CENTCOM commander, told reporters Wednesday during a Pentagon briefing, about the incoming new SFAB to Afghanistan.

But the Army’s second experimental advisory brigade is still being manned, equipped and trained, and it needs to complete a certification exercise at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, a rotation that isn’t slated till sometime in January 2019, according to the Fayetteville Observer…

Read on.


Once again, an article about the SFABs indicates that the higher-ups in the Army did not think how to use, deploy, & replace SFABs in-theater.  How could these folks at "Big Army HQ" not only hastily deploy the 1st SFAB before they were fully prepared but then not have a plan to replace them in-theater without having a gap of several months?  WTF? 

How about extending the brigade to cover the gap, or at least extending a few teams?  I suspect there are several SFAB advisers that would volunteer to extend for a few months (extra tax-free pay is nice).  If it is decided to deploy a few 2d SFAB teams early, I recommend those teams are made up of volunteers AND guys with previous adviser experience.