Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., on Monday requested the U.S. Army contemplate send a 500-soldier specialized brigade to Africa to provide advice and assistance to local forces.
"As you know, [United States Africa Command or AFRICOM] does not have any assigned forces, but must compete for allocated forces within the Department of Defense's global force management process," Inhofe, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Comittee wrote to Army Secretary Mark Esper in an open letter.
"The Army has allocated a Brigade Combat Team to AFRICOM in the recent past as part of the Regionally Aligned Forces program," he continued. "These operations were a success for our African nation partners and built strategic partnerships for the United States. However, they also negatively affected the allocated BCT's readiness, especially for core missions such as full spectrum combat operations.
"The new [Security Force Assistance Brigades] are designed specifically for this type of mission and are manned appropriately, without the need to leave most of the BCT at home station and deploying only the senior leadership of the BCT. Assigning an SFAB would also reduce the requirements of allocating a BCT and allowing it to focus on its training and maintaining the highest levels of readiness to meet other [Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls] requirements or operational plans."
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