Brig. Gen. Donn Hill, most recently the XVIII Airborne Corps' G3/5/7, will command 2nd SFAB, while former 1st Armored Division deputy commander Brig. Gen. Mark Landes will head up SFAC.
“Our Army has a long history of combat advising, and today’s ceremony highlights another step in building capacity for this critical and enduring mission,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said in a tweet following the ceremony.
The activation came just as the Fort Benning, Georgia-based 1st SFAB returned from its maiden Afghanistan deployment. Next up, 2nd SFAB will head to a rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana, then to Afghanistan to work with Afghan police and soldiers.
“There’s been a steady flow of information from the current SFAB, the 1st SFAB, to the second SFAB that will follow them in theater,” U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Joseph Votel told reporters in August. “So, they’ve been sharing a lot of lessons learned in terms of how they are operating.”
To address the multi-month gap in SFAB presence in Afghanistan, the Fayetteville Observer reported earlier this year, some 2nd SFAB teams may deploy early, and once the full brigade is on the ground, some 1st SFAB leadership may return to accompany them to facilitate introductions with established allies.
There could be a gap of several months with no SFAB soldiers on the ground in Afghanistan.
In the meantime, the Army has selected Fort Hood, Texas, Fort Carson, Colorado, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington to host SFABs three, four and five. The National Guard has begun recruiting for its Indiana-based version, which will have battalions in six more states.