Inhofe Requests Assignment of Troops to AFRICOM

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of the Army Mark Esper requesting his views and the feasibility and suitability of assigning one of the future Security Forces Assistant Brigades (SFABs) to United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) to meet current and future security cooperation and partner capacity building requirements.

“As you know, AFRICOM does not have any assigned forces, but must compete for allocated forces within the Department of Defense's global force management process,” Inhofe wrote.

“The new SFABs 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,” Inhofe continued.

Click here to download the letter. Full text is printed below.

Dear Mr. Secretary,

I am writing to request your views and the feasibility and suitability of assigning one of the future Security Forces Assistant Brigades (SFABs) to United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) to meet current and future security cooperation and partner capacity building requirements.

As you know, AFRICOM does not have any assigned forces, but must compete for allocated forces within the Department of Defense's global force management process. The Army has allocated a Brigade Combat Team to AFRICOM in the recent past as part of the Regionally Aligned Forces (RAF) program. 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 SFABs 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 COCOM requirements or operational plans.      

I look forward to receiving your views on this and discussing the matter in more detail. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Tony Pankuch at tony_pankuch@inhofe.senate.gov or 202-224-4721.

             Sincerely,