Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commanding general of the XVIII Airborne Corps, visited Soldiers from the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade at Fort Benning, Georgia, Oct. 23.
Security Force Assistance Brigades are specialized units whose core mission is to conduct advise-and-assist operations with allied and partner nations.
Soldiers in the SFAB are combat advisors trained to accomplish theater security objectives by “training-advising-assisting-accompanying-enabling” allied and partnered indigenous security forces.
“If you are interested in doing what you came into the Army to do — work with small teams — do your (military occupational specialty) and do it in a deployed setting, then this is for you and I’d ask for you to give it a look,” said Townsend.
During the visit, Townsend listened to troops within the unit to get a feel for why they chose to join the SFAB, so he could help spread the word to the rest of the force to assist with recruiting efforts.
“This is a great experience for me. It’s definitely an opportunity to (set myself apart) from my peers,” said Staff Sgt. Shawna L. Ellis, a signal noncommissioned officer with the 1st SFAB.
Ellis is a multichannel transmissions systems operator-maintainer (25Q) by trade.
She says being a part of the SFAB allows her to learn different aspects of the Army and receive training opportunities she never imagined.
“This is something way outside of my realm, and the guys in this room have taught me so much about the combat aspect, said Ellis. I love it here, and I wouldn’t change anything about it,” she said.
The Army is set to field five more SFABs in the future.
Career fields such as infantry, armor, field artillery, engineer and sustainment will fill the ranks for these brigades.
SFABs will also have personnel with specialties in military intelligence, combat medicine, field mechanical maintenance, communications and combat engineering.