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News | Feb. 23, 2021

Army South, 1st SFAB begin pre-deployment training conference

By Leanne Thomas U.S. Army South

U.S. Army South kicked-off the Operation Alamo Shield pre-deployment training conference Feb. 23 at their headquarters to prepare 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade personnel for future missions in Colombia, Honduras and Panama.

The 1st SFAB deployments are in support of U.S. Southern Command’s enhanced counter narcotics operations, which was announced by President Trump Apr. 1, 2020.

Maj. Gen. Daniel R. Walrath, U.S. Army South commanding general, provided opening remarks and said this is the first of hopefully many pre-deployment training conferences to support the 1st SFAB deployment cycles.  

“The idea is to share information to minimize gaps involved with rotating deployments and maintain momentum by establishing a common understanding across all stakeholders in this mission,” said Walrath.

The conference is a result of recommendations that came from SFAB leaders returning from the first SFAB deployment iteration in Colombia.

“We asked the leadership, ‘what can we do better to prepare the teams?’ And this conference is in part due to their recommendations,” said Walrath. 

During the three-day conference, attendees will attend country overview briefings, sustainment briefings and legal briefings to gain more insight for the missions prior to deploying to each country.

“The idea also came from some of my own experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to each deployment, all of the mission stakeholders would come together to discuss how the mission sets evolved over time, which better prepared us for the deployments,” said Walrath.

The 1st SFAB is an elite U.S. Army unit specifically trained to advise and assist partner nation countries. The presence of the SFAB in Colombia, Honduras and Panama directly aligns with U.S. Army South priorities to counter threats alongside partner nations to defend our way of life.