The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley, Kan. is the first unit undergoing RAF training to be deployed to U.S. Africa Command. A deployment could last for roughly a year, according to an Army release, and would involve military exercises, disaster relief and training host-nation forces. Civilian contractors currently conduct much of this work and the Army says its RAF alternative will be 40 percent cheaper for AFRICOM.
Soldiers from 2nd BCT are learning Arabic, Swahili, French and Portuguese as a part of Regional Expertise and Cultural training, Army officials say.
The budget overview predicts units will be ready for deployment by 2015, and staring this fall other units will be aligned for U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. European Command.