The Pentagon’s decision to replace elements of an infantry brigade of the 101st Airborne with elements of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) has long been in the works. 

This will accomplish two tasks: Firstly, it will provide better continuity in training missions with a unit designed to train foreign troops, thereby freeing up combat infantry units. Secondly, it will allow the military to better focus on countering near-peer potential adversaries in the region.

The Pentagon has been stating for months that it was going to review each of the major commands to align their activities with the U.S. military’s broader focus of competing against Russia and China. One of the major areas that were to be reviewed was Africa Command or AFRICOM. 

AFRICOM was the first to present recommendations as part of this review process. The Army’s 1st SFAB, which made its first deployment to Afghanistan in 2018, is designed to take on train, advise and assist missions that the conventional infantry brigades are ill-suited for.