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SFAB – Company Advising Team

Theres been a lot of debate about what the Security Force Assistance Brigade brings to the table.

The core action element of the SFAB is the Company Advising Team (CAT) which consists of twelve personnel. Senior advisors lead the operations section and the support section. Both of the Infantry or Armor battalions, as well as the Cavalry squadron, can field nine of these teams, which are assigned the warfighting function enablers.

Team Leader = KD CPT 11A/19A
Assistant Team Leader = KD 1SG 11Z/19Z

Operations Senior Advisor = SSG 11B/19D
Intelligence Advisor = SGT 35F/M/N/P
Assistant Operations Advisor = SSG 11B/19D
Fires Advisor = SGT 13F
Explosive Hazard Advisor = SGT 89D/12B
Support Senior Advisor = SSG 11B/19D
Medical Advisor = SGT 68W
Logistics Advisor = SGT 92Y/92A
Communications Advisor = SGT 25U/C/L/S
Maintenance Advisor = SGT 91B

9 Responses to “SFAB – Company Advising Team”

  1. Jon, OPT says:

    No electronic network team position, and only one commo SGT?

    That’s a bold move, Cotton. I hope these duty positions are designed to work solely in an advisory capacity, and have extensive network, commo, and logistical support elements backing them up.

    SF is at a deficit on the SFODA level with two 18Es, but their mission is also based around limited outside support.

    • ThatBlueFalcon says:

      From what I’m hearing from buddies in the existing SFAB, they have lots of shiny new kit but not a lot of tail to support it.

  2. Bob from Tagab says:

    “Intelligence Advisor = SGT 35F/M/N/P”

    Now, I love my nerds, they all do great work, but I don’t know that a SGT is the appropriate person to be advising anybody on intelligence functions. With promotions the way they have been you’re talking about first-term intelligence Soldiers with maybe 24-30 months out of the schoolhouse. Maybe. A lot of them don’t have deployment experience, and unless you’re in an INSCOM or SOF billet, the odds that you’re doing intel work on the daily is pretty low. Granted the SFABs are selecting and training these troops, but what is that training pipeline looking like? Most -10 and -20 level intel Soldiers are working on the production or reporting side of the house, are the SFABs actually preparing these young Sergeants to export doctrine in any useful way? Do the Sergeants have the experience to know their way around doctrine and policy?

    • ThatBlueFalcon says:

      Having just left MI land where they did daily intel work in a FORSCOM unit, no, they do not. It is my experience that MI breeds excellent analysts but terrible leaders. The SGTs are all awfully junior and while the ones I worked with were great at MI-nerdery they were abysmal at soldier skills. Yes, you can train people to go to the field, and it’s harder to train the MI-specific skills, but I’m skeptical of the layout here. I’m also curious as to why the broad range of MOS’. Yes, there’s some cross training there, but those MOS’ do different tasks.

      Similarly, an E5 92A/Y is probably end of first term or beginning of second term enlistment, and depending on their upbringing may have vastly different knowledge bases. A 92A working in a motorpool is not going to have the same background as a 92A in an SSA. A 92Y at a company level versus a PBO clerk? Same deal.

  3. Jon says:

    A concerning position to me is the explosive hazard position (12B/89B). 12B’s, even EOCA qualified are not the same as a DA Team Leader qualified EOD tech (E-6). At the same token, for the engineering aspect of mobility/counter-mobility, the EOD tech is not the right advisor for that position either. Both MOS’s have specific skills that do not exclusively overlap. I think this will be a topic of concern for both branches once these units get fully established. Hopefully, it plays out to empower both MOS’s working in tandem in their unique skill set.

    • Jon, OPT says:

      EOD Techs tend to come as attachments to whoever they work with, the nature of their job requires them to work at their home base as a unit (last I checked). I doubt they would be organic to the team in the SFAB, if that’s the intent with this, it would be a mistake, part of their professional development and training requires other techs around them. It’s been a while but that was how it used to be with the Army and Navy ones I worked with.

      • jon says:

        Jon, OPT- you are correct in that an EOD company is attached to a BCT normally or under a joint task force (Paladin or Troy for current theatres). Apparently, the positions that are being looked at for these SFAB wouldn’t be an EOD rather an EOD advisor/liaison (much like what MEBs used to have) What I am concerned is the opinion that both Engineer and EOD techs do the same job, which we don’t. For CIED, there is the EOCA component that Engineers are being trained on, but battlefield forensics and explosive exploitation isn’t in their kitbag. Same for EOD techs not being as familiar with breaching techniques or other engineer specific tasks. Having both an engineer advisor (Maneuver Support) and an EOD advisor (Protection Warfighter tasks) would be helpful from an advisory position.

        I think the advisor role for either MOS needs to be clearly defined on what their specific tasks/expectations are. You are right in that we tend to work from an established base location and conduct response and that training requires being around other techs specifically for the latest trends. This position would be suited for an experienced E-6 (Team Leader) or even an E-7 as an alternative to a battalion OPs position or Platoon SGT position. Anyone else (to include junior officers like I was) wouldn’t be as effective for the given task of teaching and advising.

        • T.O. says:

          Jon, all valid concerns. Pretty much everyone in EOD knows that placing EOD SGTs – most of them non-TL certified, many of them newly promoted – into independent foreign advisor positions is detrimental to the mission and their lives. Unfortunately, FORSCOM sees the world a little differently than we do, and here we are.

          On the plus side, I am assured that those SGTs will not be tasked with EOD response, and that they’ll have aligned EOD forces for protection. They’re also sure to learn a ton while at SFAB and develop skill sets not inherent to EOD. So, we’ll see how this whole thing plays out.

          If nothing else, the increase in need for 89D SGTs & SSGs is finally allowing our E-4s with 6-8+ to promote.

  4. Seamus says:

    Curious if anyone knows when DA plans to actually begin building 5th SFAB at JBLM? I know they are in early works at 3rd SFAB Ft. Hood but have heard and seen nothing on JBLM yet.