FORT HOOD — The 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade marked the start of a combat deployment with a colors casing ceremony on Cameron Field on Thursday.
The casing of the colors is a traditional ceremony held by United States Army commands, brigades and regiments.
This ceremony symbolized the unit’s movement of operations from Fort Hood to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and Operation Inherent Resolve
“It’s an incredible accomplishment for the organization,” said Brig. Gen. Charles J. Masaracchia, commander of the Fort Hood-based 3rd Security Force Assistance Brigade, a recently formed unit that specializes in advising military units of other countries. “Just 15 months ago it was just the command sergeant major and I as we stood up the organization. Today, we are certified with JRTC (Joint Readiness Training Center) and getting ready for a deployment. Normally, this would take an organization about three years in a normal training cycle.”
The brigade is the third of six Security Force Assistance Brigades — a series of programs Gen. Mark Milley, a former III Corps and Fort Hood commander, started in 2016. Though the concept is relatively new, officials have credited the new brigades as offering better advisers to partner nations and allowing traditional brigade combat teams to concentrate on readiness.
The 3rd SFAB has about 1,200 soldiers who have been specially selected, trained and equipped. The brigade’s task is to work with foreign security forces to train foreign forces to fight common enemies, not specifically terrorism.
“I want to validate Gen. Milley’s concept of the SFAB — that what he has put into this is paying off. That our foreign security forces are better the day we leave than the day that we showed up. And that we understand that our mission is to put ourselves out of a job and we are capable of doing that when we leave,” Masaracchia said.