Updated: February 25, 2021
The Trump administration announced on Wednesday that it was pulling out troops from Africa to counter China and Russia, and deploying some military advisers and trainers to train and advise African forces.
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Farah said the deployment of the Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) “allows the Army to return elements of an infantry brigade from the 101st Airborne Division back to its home base of Ft. Campbell, KY, allowing it to train and prepare for high intensity conflict operations”.
The move comes after the Trump administration also announced that it was barring citizens from at least four African countries from immigrating to the United States, including Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, or from applying for certain types of visas.
”The Secretary of Defense has been conducting a comprehensive review of DoD forces, programs and activities within each Combatant Command to ensure alignment with the National Defense Strategy’s priorities. U.S. Africa Command was the first to present their findings and recommendations. As part of this review and in order to better compete with China and Russia in Africa, the Secretary is directing the deployment of elements of the Army’s 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade (SFAB) to the continent to conduct train, advise, and assist missions in spotlight African countries. This is the first of many decisions regarding AFRICOM’s mission,” Farah said.
“Army SFABs are manned, trained and equipped specifically for the train, advise and assist mission. This allows them to perform this important ”great power competition” role more effectively and more efficiently than conventional units. In addition to meeting combatant command requirements on the continent, the deployment of the SFAB will help improve Army readiness by reducing the demand for brigade combat teams to conduct security force assistance operations there.
“The deployment of the SFAB allows the Army to return elements of an infantry brigade from the 101st Airborne Division back to its home base of Ft. Campbell, KY, allowing it to train and prepare for high intensity conflict operations. Deployment of the 1st SFAB and return of 101st Airborne Division personnel will commence in the coming weeks. This realignment and rightsizing of mission requirements demonstrates the Department’s commitment to implementing the National Defense Strategy and our continuing commitment to our African partners.”