Wednesday, October 7, 2009

1/4 ID to be the next SFA brigade in Afghanistan

Today the DoD announced that the 1st Brigade, 4th Infantry Division will deploy to Afghanistan next summer in support of OEF, and "will continue the ongoing training and mentoring mission of Afghan National Security Forces in Afghanistan." I take this to mean that they'll be replacing the 4th Brigade of the 82d Airborne, currently serving in Afghanistan as a "modular brigade augmented for security force assistance." (This assumption is based on the fact that 4/82 deployed this past August, and will be approaching a year in country come next summer.)

What this means is that 1/4 is going to spend the rest of their Train/Ready cycle getting Afghanistan-specific training at the readiness centers, along with SFA-specific training from the 162d Infantry Regiment (the SFA training brigade) at Ft. Polk. Somewhere along the line they'll get their augmentation of two to four dozen additional field-grade officers to serve as training team leaders.

I got into SFA brigades and 4/82 here.


  1. An interesting way of incorporating HBCTs into Afghanistan and making the deployment pool a bit bigger.

    I wonder whether there isn't a place for HBCT elements in the maneuver role too though - if I'm not mistaken, at this point the U.S. is the only major NATO force that doesn't have tanks and IFVs in Afghanistan. (UK routinely deploys a Scimitar battlegroup and a Warrior company, and the Danish, Dutch, and Canadian contingents all have company-sized main battle tank elements.)

  2. Haven't other heavy brigades gone to Afghanistan without their tanks? I can't imagine we're drawing only from the pool of IBCTs.

    Gunslinger is probably much better positioned to answer your question about the utility of tanks in Afghanistan, being a cav guy.

  3. No, every U.S. BCT that has gone to Afghanistan has been an IBCT, with two exceptions: 5/2 SBCT, which just deployed this summer, and 218th BCT of the South Carolina ARNG, which only deployed with one battalion anyway and I think mostly stayed in the Kabul area.

    Other than that, one heavy battalion has deployed armor-less (1-221 Cav, a Nevada ARNG OPFOR unit).

    And before this spring, when 2nd LAR and 5/2 SBCT deployed, the only armor or IFVs that had deployed were tanks and LAVs from MEUs, and JSOC Strykers.

  4. Interesting. Did not know that.

  5. Yeah. It makes sense that they would do this though -- HBCTs ditch all or most of their tanks and Bradleys for Iraq all the time.

  6. I love the idea of the SFA. The sad thing is it took almost seven or eight years to figure out the augmented training brigades are much better than poorly resourced ETTs.

    As for the heavies getting involved, they can do the job just as well as the IN guys with just a few less people in some units.