FORT POLK, La. — As the Soldiers, known as advisors, from the 2nd Security Force Assistance Brigade plan, prepare and execute their mission set under evaluation at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC), one thing is very clear — this unit is ready to fight and win.
“Readiness is number 1 and there is no other number 1,” Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Mark A. Milley wrote in his initial message to the Army.
Readiness is the core focus of the JRTC and the foundation for the mission of the 2nd SFAB, which is conducting a rotation at the JRTC to be evaluated in preparation for an upcoming deployment.
“We took input from the 1st SFAB to craft this scenario to reflect the real-world challenges (1st SFAB) faced during deployment,” said Capt. Nathan Rogowski, the assistant operations officer for the JRTC Operations Group Plans/ Exercise Maneuver Team. “We adjust the training to make sure this specific type of unit is ready to go and that we can give them the best training possible while they’re here.”
Unlike a conventional unit, being ready as a SFAB doesn’t just mean being equipped and organized internally, it means transferring those skills to ensure that allied and partner nations are also prepared to fight and win.
Training and advising allied and partner nations requires technical expertise, cultural competence and flexibility to adjust to multiple training environment variables. For the advisors of the 2nd SFAB this is nothing new — it was why they were selected to be in the unit in the first place.
“When a Soldier volunteers for the SFAB they go through a selection process where their readiness and skills are tested, so if they’re not ready they won’t be selected,” said Maj. Justin Patton, troop commander of 1st Squadron, 2nd SFAB. “Readiness is a continuous process it’s the contributions of each member that make us ready.”
Used to being tested and continuously challenged, the subject matter experts that compose the 2nd SFAB are facing the challenges thrown at them at the JRTC head-on.
“They came here ready to go,” said Rogowski. “They take it very seriously and understand the difficulty of the mission set they’re facing in theater so this is one of the final chances to highlight and fix any friction points they have before they get there.”
“When I look at where we were just a week ago to where we’ve come now, I’m confident that we could go forward and be successful,” said Lt. Col. Chad Roehrman, squadron commander for 3rd Squadron, 2nd SFAB. “We’re definitely excited for the second half of our rotation here (at the JRTC) to see how much further we can go to make sure we’re better prepared for our deployment.”
From performing weapons drills to conducting initial assessments of a counterpart’s training needs, 2nd SFAB advisors live out readiness and expertise in everything they do.
“You have to be ready for any task handed to you. Failure to do that can be catastrophic on many levels, so that’s why we train to try to be ready for anything that’s thrown our way,” said Sgt. Robert White, an operations advisor assigned to 3rd team, 3rd squadron, 2nd SFAB. “I absolutely, one hundred percent think we’re ready to fight and win.”
With readiness ingrained in everyone’s mind, the advisors of the 2nd SFAB are ready to face the challenges ahead and as they continue their rotation at the JRTC and prepare to deploy.