U.S. soldiers from 5th Security Force Assistance Brigade are right now running through an exercise in Louisiana designed around defending a notional Pacific island from an invasion by a conventional military force, according to unit officials.
The exercise is a departure from previous SFAB trips to Fort Polk’s Joint Readiness Training Center, which focused on replicating the counter-insurgency mission advisers would see in Afghanistan.
The Washington-based 5th SFAB is slated to begin sending advising teams out to the Indo-Pacific region in the coming months, and its current rotation to JRTC hints at how military planners envision a U.S. role during crises in the theater.
The exercise places U.S. soldiers as advisers in a fictional country called “Torbia,” which is divided between north and south.
At the start of the exercise, Americans and their local partners were combating a low-level insurgency. But soon, North Torbia will launch an incursion across the border “in a true decisive action fight,” according to 5th SFAB commander Brig. Gen. Curtis Taylor.
The training event shows how SFAB advising isn’t just for foreign militaries struggling to develop a baseline fighting force, Taylor explained during a telephone call Wednesday.