A new US Army unit created specifically to advise and assist conventional foreign military forces has begun deploying to Afghanistan.
Military.com reported this week that the leadership of 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade has arrived in Kabul and their troops will be dispersed at outposts throughout the country in order to be closer to the front lines of the war.
This is the first time in years that US troops will be on the frontline. Until now US troops have been advising high-ranking Afghan commanders but under US President Donald Trump’s new strategy, these troops will advise battalion-level personnel, military.com reported.
On a post this week on the unit’s Facebook page, the 1st SFAB’s leadership arrived in Kabul and was welcomed by US Forces commander Gen. John Nicholson.
Military.com reported that more than 800 members of the brigade will arrive over the coming weeks in preparation for the spring fighting season, which usually begins in early April.
The brigade will be part of NATO’s Resolute Support mission, which is focused on training, advising and assisting Afghan forces, and is separate from the US counterterrorism mission in the country.
According to the report, historically, conventional US Army units have been used in an ad hoc fashion to advise and assist forces in Afghanistan and other theaters. The new SFABs, trained specifically for combat advising, are intended to make advisory more effective and efficient.
Military.com also reported that the White House plans to increase the number of American troops in Afghanistan from 11,000 last summer to around 15,000 by spring.