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Security Force Assistance Brigade (USA) & Specialised Infantry Group (UK)


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I came across this when I had found out that the British Army was raising a 3rd Battalion for the Royal Gurkha Rifles regiment.

 

Interesting, the role of both is to "train, advise, assist, enable and accompany operations with allied and partner nations" kind of similar to the Green Berets, but on a larger scale and probably without the extensive training that the Green Berets receive.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Security_Force_Assistance_Brigade

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specialised_Infantry_Group

 

 

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I have spoken to some of my active deputy Special Forces friends. They have some strong opinions on this.

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The way these units were rolled out smells like an exercise in linguistics that allow the US to leave behind one of these “assistance” brigades instead of a “brigade combat team”.   It’s more palatable to the host nation’s government and plays better in the US press.  


They are not SF teams by any stretch. 

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1 hour ago, Charlie Harley, #14153 said:

The way these units were rolled out smells like an exercise in linguistics that allow the US to leave behind one of these “assistance” brigades instead of a “brigade combat team”.   It’s more palatable to the host nation’s government and plays better in the US press.  


They are not SF teams by any stretch. 

It appears to be an exercise in career building and politics. Lots of inner sanctum stuff going on. Most of the special operations people are viewing this with a jaundiced eye.

 

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10 hours ago, Cyrus Cassidy #45437 said:

They are not designed to be Special Forces units, nor to replace them.  It is a completely new construct. 

The question I think is, “Is it a necessary construct?”

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1 hour ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

The question I think is, “Is it a necessary construct?”

Maybe, you would know better than I do, but I get the impression that most of the deployed Army Special Forces are being used more in the direct action role than in the advisory and training role. 

I also get the impression that the SFAB's will be used to train existing conventional forces among those countries they are deployed to, something that Special Forces can certainly do, but are "over-qualified" for and that their skills can be better used elsewhere.

Again, you would know better than I do, but everything I've read is that most special operations units, not just ours, often find it difficult to find and keep* qualified troops and that special operations units strongly disagree with any attempt to lower entrance standards.

 

*The rise of private military contractors may be impacting the retention of special operations troops.   There is at least one PMC that is run by former Gurkhas and recruits Gurkhas.  I can understand why a Gurkha would serve their 16  year contract, get a pension and then go work for a PMC when they are between 32-34 years old and make a lot more money.  I can see no reason why this wouldn't apply to soldiers from the various Western special operations forces.

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1 hour ago, Chantry said:

Maybe, you would know better than I do, but I get the impression that most of the deployed Army Special Forces are being used more in the direct action role than in the advisory and training role. 

I also get the impression that the SFAB's will be used to train existing conventional forces among those countries they are deployed to, something that Special Forces can certainly do, but are "over-qualified" for and that their skills can be better used elsewhere.

Again, you would know better than I do, but everything I've read is that most special operations units, not just ours, often find it difficult to find and keep* qualified troops and that special operations units strongly disagree with any attempt to lower entrance standards.

 

*The rise of private military contractors may be impacting the retention of special operations troops.   There is at least one PMC that is run by former Gurkhas and recruits Gurkhas.  I can understand why a Gurkha would serve their 16  year contract, get a pension and then go work for a PMC when they are between 32-34 years old and make a lot more money.  I can see no reason why this wouldn't apply to soldiers from the various Western special operations forces.

 

^^^ This.  I've been at work all day and didn't look at this thread until after you wrote that.  But it captures everything I wanted to say...so why say it again?

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4 hours ago, Chantry said:

Maybe, you would know better than I do, but I get the impression that most of the deployed Army Special Forces are being used more in the direct action role than in the advisory and training role. 

I also get the impression that the SFAB's will be used to train existing conventional forces among those countries they are deployed to, something that Special Forces can certainly do, but are "over-qualified" for and that their skills can be better used elsewhere.

Again, you would know better than I do, but everything I've read is that most special operations units, not just ours, often find it difficult to find and keep* qualified troops and that special operations units strongly disagree with any attempt to lower entrance standards.

 

*The rise of private military contractors may be impacting the retention of special operations troops.   There is at least one PMC that is run by former Gurkhas and recruits Gurkhas.  I can understand why a Gurkha would serve their 16  year contract, get a pension and then go work for a PMC when they are between 32-34 years old and make a lot more money.  I can see no reason why this wouldn't apply to soldiers from the various Western special operations forces.

The problem has been for several years Special Forces has in fact been used in the direct action role. Many in the SF community think far too much. Rather than SF being over qualified for the the trading and indigenous troops support role, I would argue that they are vastly over qualified for the rook kicking roll. Quick strike operation forces have existed in the Rangers and SEAL teams for years. The training that Special Forces troops possess is specialized and perfectly suited to the counter insurgency role as was the original doctrine and well accomplished in the 1960s. For example, the tremendous training given to SF medics is far and away more than necessary for direct action missions. Working in remote villages where little or no medical help has ever been available wins the gratitude and respect of the locals,  not only for the SF medics but the government supporting them. A medic in a door kicking unit has no need to learn. How to deliver babies or treat malnutrition and cholera patients.

 

Thanks to Hollywood and legend the public has long associated the Green Berets with super soldier commandos. I can’t help but wonder if many in the Pentagon have also incorrectly made this association.

Many feel that this new doctrine will further lock Special Forces into the direct action role and move further away from the initial concept.

 

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30 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

Rather than SF being over qualified for the the trading and indigenous troops support role, I would argue that they are vastly over qualified for the rook kicking roll.  Working in remote villages where little or no medical help has ever been available wins the gratitude and respect of the locals,  not only for the SF medics but the government supporting them. A medic in a door kicking unit has no need to learn. How to deliver babies or treat malnutrition and cholera patients.

 

 

I don't think there is a better American unit better equipped to train and support indigenous troops and work in remote villages and if  anything I said was came across differently, I apologize.

 

I do think Special Forces (and there aren't enough of them) are over qualified to train existing conventional soldiers who, in theory, have already gone through their country's equivalent of basic training and the fundamentals of being a soldier

 

I see the SFAB's as being attached to brigade or divisional sized formations to help train those soldiers fight a mostly conventional war.  To put it a different way, think of the SFAB's taking new or poorly trained troops and helping them to train up to a level to be able pass the tests required for the Expert Infantry Badge.

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8nwill watch with interest to see how this new doctrine develops. Hopefully it will be a success.
Failure sucks,

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Got nothing but respect for the SF. Got my rear end captured while on manuvers in Bavaria in 1959, by Green Berets, and a company of 
Straight legs from the 24th Division. We were in Germany about a month and a half, out on bivouac When Bang, there they were. I learned a whole bunch that night. 

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