The 54th Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) was formally activated by the U.S. Army during an official ceremony at Fort Bragg, North Carolina on March 5, 2020.
The establishment of the 54th SFAB has been in progress for over a year. The uncasing and display of the command and brigade colors marked the beginning of the unit’s history and lineage. The keynote speaker at the ceremony was General Michael Garrett – the commanding general of the United States Army Forces command.
The 54th SFAB is an Army National Guard unit composed of a brigade headquarters and six battalions. The brigade has units in Indiana, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, and Florida. The 54th SFAB headquarters is part of the Indiana National Guard.
Mission. The mission of an SFAB is to carry out train, advise, and assist (TAA) missions with foreign nation military partners. Along with the U.S. Army’s Special Forces, the SFABs are the U.S. Army’s permanent and dedicated organizations specifically trained in the combat advisory role. The SFABs do not do the full range of missions assigned to Special Forces – such as counterterrorism (CT), direct action (DA), special reconnaissance (SR), unconventional warfare (UW), and other SOF missions.
Active Duty SFABs. The active Army has established five Security Force Assistance Brigades. The 1st SFAB completed a tour in Afghanistan in late 2018. The 2nd SFAB completed an Afghan tour in 2019. The 3rd SFAB is currently deployed to Afghanistan and a small element of the 3rd SFAB is in Iraq. Smaller elements of the SFABs have deployed to other locations around the world. The 4th and 5th SFABs are currently training up and are projected to deploy worldwide – most likely to the Pacific and Africa regions.
Training. Most members of the 54th must pass an assessment and selection process. Those personnel assigned to an advisor position attend the Combat Advisor Training Course at the Military Advisor Training Academy (MATA), Fort Benning. In addition, SFAB soldiers receive training on foreign weapons systems, driving, SERE, and medical subjects. SFAB soldiers also receive language and cultural training.
Unit Training. The national guard units in the individual states are conducting training events throughout the year. A typical training event is described in a November 2019 article published on DVIDS by the Georgia National Guard. Read “Georgia Guard’s 1-54th SFAB Conducts Team Assessment at Fort Benning, Georgia”, DVIDS, Nov 15, 2019.
OCONUS Missions. Some of the SFAB guard units have gotten an early start. Members of the Florida SFAB units deployed in the summer of 2019 to the Dominican Republic and trained up soldiers of Caribbean nations during a recent Tradewinds exercise. Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion, 54th SFAB (Florida) completed a five day exchange in the Commonwealth of Domica where they worked with the Dominica Police Force on tactics and techniques for policing operations and crime scene investigation.
Volunteers. The National Guard SFAB is accepting volunteers for advisor and non-advisor positions. The applicants for advisor positions are interviewed by commanders and senior NCOs. There is an assessment and selection process that applicants must pass. This consists of physical fitness tests, interviews, and other selection events. Learn more on how to become a National Guard SFAB combat advisor.
54th Security Force Assistance Brigade, SOF News, January 30, 2019
54th Security Force Assistance Brigade Facebook
Security Force Assistance Command (SFAC)
Photo: A Soldier from the Florida Army National Guard Security Forces Assistance Brigade (SFAB) advises a Haitian Soldier on the proper handling technique of a shotgun during Tradewinds 2019, at Las Calderas Naval Base, Dominican Republic. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Leia D. Tascarini, June 2019).