U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Sierra A. Melendez,

Less than a month after announcing the upcoming deployments of thousands of U.S. troops to Afghanistan to relieve existing forces ahead of the spring fighting season, the Army says those soldiers will be accompanied by a fresh batch of combat advisors. The coming deployment marks a historic first: On Jan. 11, the branch announced the deployment of roughly 500 specially trained soldiers with the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB), to provide training and advisory functions for the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces.

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Army photo by Sgt. Jeffrey Alexander

The U.S. Army will soon offer $5,000 bonuses to persuade top-performing soldiers to join a set of new training and advising brigades that could begin deploying to conflict zones around the world as soon as 2018, the Associated Press reports.

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