INDIANAPOLIS - The Indiana National Guard has named the first commander for the state's 54th Security Force Assistance Brigade. Col. Jeff Hackett, who has served as director of plans, training and operations since September 2017, will be the first to lead the newly-created unit.

The creation of the 54th SFAB was first announced in March. The Indiana National Guard says the brigades are part of the U.S. Army's initiative to help foreign military forces throughout the world. The 54th is the only one of its kind in the National Guard.

"When deployed, SFAB soldiers will be the day-to-day experts combatant commanders need to train, advise and assist our allied and partnered indigenous security forces," said Maj. Gen. Courtney P. Carr, Indiana's Adjutant General. "I can't think of a better commander than Jeff, who has served as an infantry officer for more than two decades and who has exceptionally led at every level from platoon to battalion and now brigade."

Hackett says Guard soldiers bring civilian-acquired skills and experience, in addition to their military career specialties, to their roles as advisers and mentors. 

"One of the unique qualities Army National Guard soldiers possess is their experience in the civilian world and their expertise in their chosen career," said Hackett. "Our soldiers bring these civilian skill sets with them when it is time to deploy."