Army Ramps Up Effort To Recruit ‘Best Of The Best’ To New Deployable Training Brigades

news
U.S. Army commanders, deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve and assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, discuss the location for a new patrol base site with a 9th Iraqi Army Division leader near Mosul, Iraq, March 30, 2017.
Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jason Hull

With training for the first of six new so-called Security Force Assistance Brigades (SFABs) set to begin this fall, the U.S. Army is offering several perks, including a $5,000 bonus, to recruit seasoned soldiers for the assignment, Army Times reports.  


“In addition to being a volunteer, we want the best of the best,” Brig. Gen. David Lesperance, the deputy commanding general of armor at the Maneuver Center of Excellence, told Army Times. "[We want the [op-level talent coming out of key and development assignments."

More specifically, the  Army is looking for former squad leaders and platoon sergeants, according to a May 18 Army press release. And while each of the SFABs will come equipped with intelligence, logistics, and other support elements, the bulk of the personnel will come from the Army’s infantry and armor branches.

In addition to the bonus, volunteers will also be allow to choose their follow-on assignment. The Army is also touting the fact that, because the brigades will only be manned by senior personnel, NCOs will not be burdened by the responsibility of caring for and training junior enlisted soldiers.

“Army leaders at the highest levels are committed to making the SFABs a premier assignment,” Maj. Nick Clemente, a strategic planner with HRC’s readiness branch, said in a press release. “Over time, I expect that we will see positive promotion trends for officers and NCOs who excel during their SFAB tour.”  

All of these perks are meant to entice top-performing soldiers into a post that will likely entail a lot of time spent overseas.  The Army plans to stand up a total of six SFABs by 2024 — five from the Active Duty component and one from the Army National Guard. Each will be manned by 529 soldiers.

At a time when conventional U.S. forces have assumed an almost exclusively backseat role in combat theaters like Iraq and Afghanistan, the SFABs will be specially equipped to train and build up local security forces so they can take the lead in operations. That mission is currently being handled by the Army’s Brigade Combat Teams, or BCTs.

“The creation of SFABs is intended to help alleviate this challenge by providing a purpose built advise and assist force while freeing up our BCTs to be ready for their primary mission,” Clemente said in the release.

An initial crop of about 500 soldiers — all officers and senior NCOs— are due to report to Ft. Benning, Georgia in October, where they will undergo six weeks of training to prepare them for an SFAB assignment lasting between two and three years.  Two hundred of those troops  will then receive 16 weeks of intensive language training, while others will attend an eight-week course.  

“There will be some in-classroom instruction, but the majority of the training will be situational training exercises,” Lesperance told Army Times. “Hands-on, performance-oriented training with a lot of contracted regional partners, that allow us to make sure they get some type of immersion into the correct languages and the types of tasks they will do.”

The Army has not yet established a deployment schedule for the SFABs, but Lesperance says that the first brigade will deploy as soon as it’s ready.

“It’s not a matter of if, it’s just when,” he told Army Times” And I think everybody knows that.”

"It's kind of like the equivalent of dropping a soda can into canyon and putting on a blindfold and going and finding it, because you can't just look down and see it," diver Jeff Goodreau said of finding the wreck.

The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.

The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.

The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.

Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.

Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.

Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.

Read More Show Less
(CIA photo)

Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.

Read More Show Less

The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.

Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."

That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.

Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.

Read More Show Less

"Shoots like a carbine, holsters like a pistol." That's the pitch behind the new Flux Defense system designed to transform the Army's brand new sidearm into a personal defense weapon.

Read More Show Less

Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.

For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.

On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."

Read More Show Less