Local News

Fort Bragg to launch second ever unit to advise international security forces

Posted December 11, 2017 4:25 p.m. EST
Updated December 11, 2017 6:20 p.m. EST

— Fort Bragg will be home to a brand new unit starting next month, one that will help train and advise security forces in other countries.

The Security Forces Assistance Brigade is the second unit of its kind in the country.

The unit will be made up of 800 Army personnel, who will receive special training in language, culture, foreign weapons and military observation.

The concept has drawn criticism from some who say it's too similar to special operations units that are already in existence, like the Special Forces.

But Army officials say they're seeing increasing demand for American assistance to train and advise military forces in allied countries and partners.

The countries participating in the initiative include Iraq and Afghanistan, where combat teams have been deployed in advisory capacities for several years.

The First Combat Brigade of the 82nd Airborne is currently deployed for that role in the Kandahar region.

Officials say the new brigade will take over some of those duties, allowing combat brigades to focus more on combat readiness.

The Army is offering substantial bonuses for volunteers to join the brigade.

It has strict requirements for training, experience, rank, security clearance and physical fitness.

The unit could move into some of the space vacated by a deactivated Air Force reserve unit, the former 440th Airlift Wing.

The 800 soldiers will be among the 2,500 additional troops expected to come to Fort Bragg over the next few years.

Fort Bragg's brigade will be the second of six planned SFAB units.

The first was activated at Georgia's Fort Benning in October. The other four are scheduled to be in place by 2022.