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Georgia Army National Guard Activates SFAB Battalion

By Sgt. Jordan Trent | SFAB Battalion | July 21, 2020

FORT BENNING, GA, UNITED STATES — FORT BENNING, GA, June 25, 2020 – The Georgia Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 54th Security Force Assistance Brigade held a ceremony marking the official activation of the unit June 25, 2020 at Fort Benning, Georgia. The 1-54th SFAB mission is to assess, advise, liaise and support foreign security forces during peacetime, contingency, crisis and combat operations supporting the combatant commander’s needs.

“Many of you here today are well versed on our organizational values here in the Georgia Army National Guard. They’re easily summarized as R3 which stands for readiness, resiliency and relevancy,” said Brig. Gen. Randall Simmons, Commanding General of the Georgia Army National Guard. “This unit epitomizes those pillars.”

Ever since Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, initiated plans to create advisor brigades in 2016, the U.S. Army has activated six SFABs and the Military Advisor Training Academy. The National Guard fields one of the six brigades, headquartered in Indiana, with battalions located in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Ohio, and Texas. The 1-54th SFAB is the first unit of its kind in the Georgia Army National Guard.

“A few years ago, we were invited to apply for this force structure. The decision was easy,” said Simmons. “The SFAB was the hottest force structure the Army had to offer. It met all relevancy requirements and the decision was made for us to pursue it. Thankfully, we were one of six states selected for the SFAB in the Army National Guard of the United States.”

Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Makaryk and Command Sgt. Maj. Brett Paul, the battalion commander and command sergeant major of 1-54th SFAB, assumed command and responsibility of the unit. After the battalion was officially activated, each company commander and first sergeant of the four companies in the battalion assumed command and responsibility of their units.

In keeping with the Georgia Army National Guard’s organizational values, 1-54th SFAB is a unit on the cutting edge of readiness by recruiting highly effective and trained leaders from across the formation that bring the needed skill-sets for the unit.

“Soldiers assigned to this unit are among the best and most resilient we have. They are highly trained, experienced and motivated,” said Simmons. “They are among our top tactical leaders across all formations. There work will strengthen our allied partners while supporting our nation’s security objectives and the combatant commander’s warfighting needs. They will be leaders in all areas of readiness from personnel, logistics and operations. They will be the best.”

The 1-54th SFAB is in the process of training, equipping and manning the unit through recruitment efforts, sending Soldiers to the MATA Combat Advisor Training Course and fielding new equipment that keeps them on the forefront of Army innovation.

“This is a historic day for our organization,” said Simmons. “We’re extremely proud to welcome the 1st Battalion, 54th SFAB as the newest Georgia Army National Guard unit.”